Just finished putting kids to bed, even though they keep finding ways to get out of bed, and watching a movie sitting on the couch thinking about our day. It was such a beautiful day. I’m not talking about just the sky but how God orchestrated every aspect of it, from Worship, to Hiking, and even to cookies.
Now for you to get a taste for the cookies, I have to start at the beginning, this morning. Woke up this morning excited for Church. I don’t know about you, you may not be a church type of person reading this or you may have grown up on the back pew, but I really look forward to church. It is a place of fellowship with each other and worship in our fellowship with God. The worship, the Word and the flow of the church service circled around Psalm 85. If you look back, I posted on that same scripture last night.
The worship music today helped to direct our attention back to God and his Heart for us. As a father, there are times I have to correct my children, had to just a bit ago. We must also understand that when we step out of God’s direction and covering, we may need some correction as well. Hebrews 12:11 says -Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. This simply means that during a time of correction its not all that great, and even possibly hard to swallow sometimes, but afterwards there is peace and rest for those who walk in His ways and directions.
After church today the sky was just too beautiful to be indoors. Granted, we had plenty to do inside, house work, laundry, but just couldn’t handle being inside. So we decided to go for a drive, but with a destination in mind. We try to find fun things to do that don’t cost too much money, even free if we can. Today, we headed out for The Camp Thunder Boy Scout adventure area in Upson County. They built an amazing park for kids to play on and its free. There are things for the kids of all ages, even us older kids, to play on. Our kids had a great time. They climbed the rope ladders, slid down the slides and ran all over the base camp.
After an hour or so on the recreation area, it was time to hike down to the river. It was an easy walk down to the waters edge. Kids enjoyed seeing the river across the rocks and seeing how many turtles they could count. It was also a great time to look for bugs, animals and even ran across a small snake. Sorry, no picture. It was a perfect opportunity to show off some of the awesome and unique creations of God. We had a great bonus as a small plane flew through the river valley only 35-50 feet above the water. Kids had a blast watching it fly through.
Now for the cookies part, since thats what you were waiting to read about. Its not to spectacular but there is something relaxing and warming about snacking on warm, fresh out of the oven cookies and a tall glass of milk. If you will allow me to say, a small blessing from God in a small hot chocolate chip cookie and some ice cold milk. An end to a really nice, relaxing, joyful day.
I encourage you, take the time to get out of the house. Find some where to explore and see what God created for our enjoyment, kids laughing and playing, a hike to the river, even cookies and milk.
Psalm 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
Here we have four attributes of God, they are mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace (Ps. 85:10-11).
Truth, God’s Word, was given to us to know the will of God for our lives. Righteousness moves us to obedience to the truth. Mercy forgives man of sin. Next comes peace. Peace comes as we walk in righteousness according to the truth we learned in His Word and in our relationship with Him.
All four attributes of God work in harmony to bring salvation to men that fear God (Ps. 85:9).
3 pounds lean ground beef
3 large yellow onions, chopped
4-1/2 cloves garlic, chopped
4-1/2 cups water
3 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can of Rotel (Original)
1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt, or to taste
3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
In a large Dutch oven, cook and stir the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown, about 10 minutes. Skim off excess fat, and stir in the onions and garlic. Cook and stir the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 more minutes.
Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, Rotel, and seasoned salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the macaroni, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and serve.
This was one of the easiest pizzas we have ever made. It’s so simple and all, yes all, of the kids loved it.
You’ll need to make your own pizza dough or use a ready made. Prepare it according to its instructions. We made 4 pizzas this particular evening.
Take your favorite olive oil and brush over dough. We used a Tuscan Herb. Here’s a plug for our favorite olive oil suppliers, Branch and Vine . Now, I must give them a huge shout out. We have visited the Ashley Park store in Newnan multiple times and just love the place. If you love Olive Oil – their tasting bar of infused Premium Olive Oils and infused balsamic vinegars, then you must stop in for a taste. Let them give you the walk around and taste as many blends you can think of with their Panara bread samples.
After you have brushed the pizza dough with oil olive, sprinkle with granulated garlic powder.
Next add Mozzarella. I’m not sure about you but I love Mozzarella cheese. We used about 1.5 -2 cups of shredded mozzarella per pizza. Now, you will have to determine how much you like on your pizzas, but we had it thick.
The next layer involves tomatoes. We used about 16 oz of caned crushed tomatoes to cover our 4 pizzas. Oh yeah, we did drain them. We added some freshly chopped Basil, about 1/4 cup for all 4 pizzas next. The top layer was a 1lb of browned smoked sausage, spread evenly on the 4 pizzas.
You are going to want to cook your pizza according to the instructions for your dough. You will want the crust golden brown and crisp.
Now for the final part, probably the best part. Drizzle the pizza with a Balsamic Reduction.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
Stir balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.