Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe of the Month ~ Cottage Cheese

Hello to all of you readers!  I hope this day finds you doing well.

Although this is very late, it is none the less our recipe of the month post.  We would like to share with all of you our new-found cottage cheese recipe.  I know that may sound somewhat complicated, but really it is very easy and fun.  We have been making buttermilk and butter for quite some time, but with dairy products typically being rather expensive, we recently have wanted to expand to making cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream as well.  We decided to venture with the cottage cheese first.  A friend of ours shared her easy recipe with Mom (Thanks Mrs. S.), and we have made it three times since then and it is wonderful!  It has very good flavor.  It works well in lasagna, and a friend who tried it said it was wonderful with fruit as well.  She thought it was just as good as store bought, maybe better.  So, here is the recipe step by step, with pictures so you get a better idea of what it's suppose to look like.

You will need:
1 gallon of milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of cream 

*Note - This recipe makes about 24 oz. of cottage cheese.*  

First, you are going to heat your milk to 185 degrees.  Make sure you stir it often so that it doesn't scorch on the bottom:-)  I like to use a spoon that is flat on the bottom for this reason.

Once the milk has reached 185 degrees, turn off the heat and pour in the 1/4 cup of vinegar.  Do not stir!  You can give your spoon one or two really slow, half slides across the pan, but nothing more.  If you stir it, it will break the curds too small, and it will end up like ricotta.

Now you are going to let it sit for about an hour.  As it sits you will start to see the whey (the clearer liquid) separate from the curds, which will be mostly in one solid mass, as shown above.

Now you are ready to drain off the whey.  You can just dump it down the kitchen drain, or you can save it to use in bread or to pour on the garden for added nutrients.  To drain the whey, you will want to pour it through a colander lined with cheesecloth, flour-sack towel, or a thin napkin.  The thinner the cloth the better, otherwise you will have trouble getting the liquid to drain off of the curds.      

As you can see from the picture above, we find it easiest to drain the whey into a bowl large enough to hold up our colander.

Next, squeeze all the remaining whey out.  (The picture above is not actually how it is suppose to work.  I used too thick of a napkin that time.  Usually it drains out easier than that.)  After you squeeze the rest of the whey out, you will be left with a solid mass of cheese.  ( Not everyone agrees with me on this one, but I think the cottage cheese is really good warm, so if you're inclined to agree, trying a little at this point would be a treat :-)

Now you want to rinse the cheese with cold water, so that it does not get sour tasting as it sits in the fridge.  As I rinse it, I like to break the cheese apart a little so that the still hot inside can cool as well.  You will want to rinse it a couple of times.

Squeeze all the water out with your hands after you are done rinsing to make sure there is no liquid left in the cheese.

Your cheese should look something like this when you're done.

The next step is to break up the cottage cheese into small pieces (a little smaller than bite-size but larger than typical cottage cheese size, as it will break up more as you stir it). 

Next, stir in the teaspoon of salt. 


 Then, add the cup of cream and stir well.

Now it looks like real cottage cheese!

Now all you have to do is pour it into a container of your choice and...

 Walla!  The finished product!  Does that look real or what!  And no, this cottage cheese did not come from Meijer.
There you have it!  Now you know how to make delicious, homemade cottage cheese!  We hope that you will try it and enjoy it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

What Should the Average Day Look Like for a True Believer?

Breanna shared this with me this morning and I thought I would pass it on for your encouragement as well.
“What should the average day look like for a true believer?”
This was a question I received in an email this morning. Here are some breif thoughts.  There are many other things from the scriptures that we also could consider.

Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Psalm 90:14 – Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
- Rise early and isolate yourself to pray to the Lord and be satisfied in His steadfast love so that you may rejoice and be glad, not depressed and anxious. Be totally dependent upon God in the morning or else you will rely upon the arm of the flesh to gain victory over sin and you will fall.
Psalm 119:9 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
- Guard your decisions each day with God’s Word, make sure you are not contradicting what the scriptures teach. Make sure you are using the light of the Word to examine your path daily.
Proverbs 3:6 - In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
James 4:15 – “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
1 Thes 5:21 – but test everything; hold fast what is good.
- Be submissive to God’s will for your life.  Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways.

Luke 9:23 – And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
1 Corinthians 15:31b - I die every day!
- Deny yourself. Say “No!” to the flesh and yes to Christ.  Be a good soldier and share in Christ’s sufferings. (2 Tim 2:3).  The flesh wants to sleep or be lazy, may it not be so.
1 Thes 5:18 – give thanks in all circumstances
Luke 10:39 – And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” Luke 10:41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
- Do not be caught in being very busy and trying to perform well. Go serve the Lord without an anxious heart.  Be satisfied in Christ alone.  Don’t work to gain your joy but find it in Christ’s work on the Cross on your behalf.
Psalm 16:8 – I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
- Take every thought captive as 2 Cor 10:5 says, and keep your mind on Christ, resting in Him alone, always setting Him before you.
Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Hebrews 3:13 – But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- Do not neglect to meet together with the saints. When you meet you should stir one another up to love and good works and exhort eachother that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulnes of sin. Also reaffirm your love(2 Cor 2:8)  towards them so that no slanders are believed and no place for the devil is given, that could cause division.  – Keep alert in prayer for your brethren at all times. (Eph 6:18)
Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
Mark 9:38 – therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Titus 2:14b – zealous for good works.
- Go! — Do not build up a kingdom on this earth, be prepared to go, don’t get comfortable. Don’t waste your life, but be zealous for good works.– Make disciples. Don’t just pray for God to save someone, but once God does save them, pour into them the truth, disciple them. Then pray that God will raise them up and send them out into the harvest.
Matthew 6:20 - lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven
Acts 5:42 – And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
1 Cor 2:2 – for I have determined to know nothing among you except for Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

- Everyday do not cease to preach Christ, not apologetics, but Christ. Not going from “house to house debating” but preaching and teaching Jesus as the Christ.
Hebrews 12:14 – Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
- Strive for holiness, to be set apart, to be more like Christ.  Strive for peace with everyone and make sure that you see to it that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble and division.
Acts 24:16 – So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

- Are you always taking pains to have a clear conscience? Paul said in 1 Cor 4:4 that he knew of nothing against himself.  1 Tim 1:19 says some reject the faith by not holding to a good conscience. — Are you holding to a good conscience?
Romans 8:13 – if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 13:14 – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 5:25 – If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

- Put on Christ, live by the Spirit, and mortify sin in your life by the Holy Spirit.
Luke 5:16 – But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
1 Thes 5:17 – pray without ceasing,
- Keep praying throughout the day. Withdraw from the busyness to be alone with the Lord so that you may be able to continue on with a pure heart working heartily unto the Lord and not for self.
Luke 21:35-36 – watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life… But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength.
- Do not be distracted by the things of this world and lose your eternal perspective, the end could come at any moment.
Matthew 24:44 – Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
1 Samuel 20:3b – “But truly, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.

Psalm 63:5 – My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help,
- At the end of the day you are still satisfied in the Lord, not in your performance, but in His help, and you are praising the Lord for the victories He gave you. You are meditating on the Lord in your bed, not on self, not daydreaming, but thinking on the Lord. Ask yourself, when you get to the end of the day are you able to say “you have been my help’”? Can you say that to the Lord, or are you being self-reliant and not dependent upon God? Do you realize the great need for God to be your present help in a time of trouble, for Him to be the upholder of your life and your refuge.

These are very simple scriptural truths that I pray God does make a reality in all of our lives and that we live them out with consistency.


This morning I read this from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional.  This is something that over the short journey in this life that I have had thus far, I have seen over and over and have experienced over and over.  I call it compromise.  Seth and I often tell our children that the only regrets that they will have will be the areas that they compromise in.  This is something that we do not take serious enough.  Tim Conway from Grace Community church in Texas said that the things that make us dull (verses being sharp) are the "small" compromises that we allow into our lives.  Mr. Spurgeon said it so well.  I hope you will be challenged and encouraged by it as well.  Oh, for grace to love Him more!

“Only ye shall not go very far away.”
- Exo_8:28
This is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent; it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even condemned. Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of “moderation.” According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. “Yes,” says the world, “be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What’s the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?” Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls his sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


"He also that had received the one talent came." Mat_25:24.

THE FIVE-TALENTED men, are the geniuses of the world, successful in everything they touch. The two-talented men, on the one hand, are not exposed to the temptations of genius, but are not quite at the minimum. But why did the man with the one talent make such ill use of his gift? Surely, this is a true touch of life! One-talented people can do so little, that they do nothing. They are crushed and enfeebled by a sense of their own insignificance and inferiority. Many start life with high and pure aims, but presently they find their opportunities so meagre, their influence so limited, their power so scanty, that after a few struggles they give up in despair.
But the world will never be saved and helped unless the one-talented people, who are the great majority, can be aroused to a sense of their responsibility. Five men can put the whole energy of their manhood behind their single talents, whilst the one man with five talents has only the driving power of one. It is probably a greater thing in God's sight to use one talent faithfully than many. No one notices the man with his humble one talent. There is no outburst of praise or cheering. It is a greater test of the quality of the soul to go on doing one small thing well, than to be able to turn with brilliant versatility from one talent to another. The monotony of life presses hard on those who have only one string to their bow, one tune to play, one act to perform in the great factory where labour is carefully subdivided.
But the one thing that our Lord demands of each of us is to be faithful--faithful in a very little. He is watching each of us with great eagerness as we live our daily life, because He knows, as we cannot realise, how much our position in the other world depends on our fidelity in this. It is for our sake that He is so anxious that we should make good use of our one talent.
Have you only one talent? Are you doing anything with it? Remember it is the ounce-weight that may turn the scales where hundred-weights are balanced; it is the tiny tug that can move the great liner. Be thou faithful in thy very little, and thou shalt receive the "Well done" of thy Lord.

O Lord, at the end of every day, may we stand before Thee to hear Thy verdict, and when all the toil and labour of our life is ended, may we hear Thee say: "Well done, good and faithful servant! thou hast been faithful in a few things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" AMEN.
I have so been enjoying the devotional by F.E. Meyer that I have on my E-Sword Bible.  If you are not familiar with E-Sword, it is a free Bible program that you can download that makes many resources available at your finger tips.  You can check it out by clicking here.

Back to pondering about the talents and faithfulness . . .  Hope your day is blessed and your mind filled the Words of our Lord as you go throughout this day.  May we be faithful with our talent(s) that the Lord has given us for His glory.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Precious and Sweet- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Hello to all of our readers!

Have you ever just sat in a rocking chair holding a baby, just looking at all of the intricate detail?  Marveling at their little noses and toeses, and then you get to their wittle cheekers and you just want to 'tiss 'em and 'tiss 'em and 'tiss 'em?  We wuves tisses and wock'n da wittle babies!  One of the times when I was rocking the sleeping muffin, Mom seized the opportunity to capture the preciousness and wonder of our little Rose, who is growing up too quickly.  For your viewing pleasure, might I suggest clicking on this neat song by Michael Card, All You Are, as you view the photos.  Hope you enjoy!

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.
Psalms 139: 14

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:2-5

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What is a Blessing?

We recently discovered this song and were so blessed and challenged by its message that we wanted to share it with you, our dear readers!  Blessings and Love

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Encouragement in the Journey

Encouraged by something that Brother Bob Jenning's said in the message that we posted a few days ago, I thought I would share something that the Lord has been teaching me. Brother Bob encouraged us to always have a notepad and pen with us to write down the things that the Lord is teaching us.

Recently, our family has taken a huge step of faith in an area.

There has been a peace that has passed all human understanding throughout all of its coming to be.

Well, that is until just a few days before it came to fruitation.

Several days I spent doubting and questioning. I knew I was being tested!

I heard my husband pray for me and that night I cannot explain it but a peace came back over me and the Lord directed me to this:

And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, "It is a ghost!" and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Matthew 14:25-33

I began to see clearly; I was looking at the wind. I needed to get my eyes back on Jesus and trust in what He had called us to. Trust in His promises that He has said in His Word. Trust in all the verses He has put in our path to encourage us to come.

I, like Peter, had little faith and did begin to doubt.

Lord, forgive thou my unbelief and increase my faith!

I hope that you too will be encouraged by what the Lord is teaching me and might be encouraged as well, that if you are a child of the King of Kings, to not look to whatever waves are going about in your life but to just keep your eyes on Jesus and have faith. If you are not a child of the Most High, I encourage you to Click Here and listen to Paul Washer as he shares about One that you can look too and have faith in.

Be strong and of good faith.
Be content, rejoice and believe!
Meditate on the Word of God and let it not depart from our hearts or mouths.
Obey even when it is hard!

Blessings and love to you all.