Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quotes of the day...


I may have ranted about facebook the other week, about how some times we are careless with the words we throw about for the worlds to see, but some times diamonds pop up among the coal. This was posted on a friend´s wall to encourage her. I hope it is encouraging to you, too.

by Russell Kelfer

...Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

© 1980 Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Needs in Anonos

As you may have read, we now have a new thrift store in Los Anonos. It provides work for Adriana, one of the ladies in our church, while the revenue helps pay the rent on the casita, the little house where the thrift store is located. It has been quite the hit! Adriana has had steady business since it opened. The store is kept stocked by teams. When they come down they can bring gently used clothes, shoes, and home goods to put in the store. Between teams I get bombarded with two types of questions whenever I go down to visit the strore: When will there be more items? and Do you have______? The answer to the first question is always the date when the next team is coming and the answer to the second question is we'll have to wait and see if the team brings the names item. In preparing teams for coming, here is a list of things that people frequently ask about.

  • Kid's shoes
  • Women's sandals and shoes
  • Men's, women's, and kid's tennis shoes
  • Pots and pans
  • Mugs or cups
  • Yarn
  • Curtains
  • Sheet sets
  • Women's exercise clothes (stretchy pants and capris)
  • Kid's clothes
Clothes that they LOVE include t-shirts, tank tops, ladies sleeveless shirts, and hooded sweatshirts or pullover hooded sweatshirts. Many of the people here actually tend to wear popular American brands.


Here are some of the ladies from the Portland Vineyard.
They brought down extra suitcases filled with clothes for the store.
Thank you for helping fill our store with not only things, but the light and love of God!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Food for thought...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, I´m like my mother after all...
And thanks to Yearbookyourself.com, I look like her, too!!!

Of course, then I actually asked my dad for a picture of my mom from the 70's...
The picture on the left was taken of my mom in 1979.
The picture on the right was taken of me in 2010.
Yeah, I think I look just a bit like my mom :)


My mom and me this past Labor Day, hanging out by the camp fire.

My mom and me at Christmas :)

Thanks, mom, for sharing your good looks with me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who is God?

I have taken over leading youth group here in Los Anonos. For my first message, which I'll be giving next week, I feel impressed to talk about who God is. To start the conversation, I want to ask the question, what does God look like? I have been researching in the Bible and have found some great scripture that describe God (which I'll get to later). But as any good Calvin College student, I decided to take my quest to Google. I googled for images of "God". Interestingly enough, there were about 346,000,000 results. However I was very disappointed. Most of the pictures depicted God as an angry, old man. Many of the results weren't even pictures of God, but weird sayings, phrases, unrelated images of video game warriors.

Morgan Freeman did also come up on the search.
Totally expected that one ;)

So I decided to research a little further and google imaged "Holy Spirit". Here I got 6,800,000 results. Again, the majority of the images were doves, or doves descending on Jesus, with an occasional image of flames.
Just out of curiosity, I did a google image search of "Jesus". 94,200,000 results popped up. But here almost every image actually depicted Jesus. Not only did every picture embody a vivid image of the incarnate God, be he also gets to do some pretty amazing feats.

Jesus is the one who pulls Peter out of the water:

We have baby Jesus:

And Jesus with babies:

Jesus is the one pictured in the garden.

Jesus gets to arm wrestle the Devil:

And give us His approval:

He oversees surgery:

This painting is entitled "Jesus, Meek and Mild":

There are also the countless studembodiments of the passion, crucifiction, death, and resurrection of Jesus:

Yet he also shows up on fishsticks:

And apparently is even part of the NRA:

So even though "God" gets more results on google, it is really unfair in how He's depicted.
There are probably many reasons why Jesus is depicted so much more than God the Father...Spiritual reasons. Psychological reasons. Logisitcal and logical reasons. I am going to be pondering that for a while. Maybe we are most comfortable with the human side of God. Maybe it's because Jesus actually walked on earth and so we know he looked like a man...that's easier to draw and makes good, reliable art work. Plus there are stories about what he did and who he interacted with. Maybe we're afraid of being heretical in depicting what God looks like. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way trying to down play Jesus or His depictions. I'm just trying to figure out why God the Father doesn't seem to be focused on as much, or "credited" as much. God is also described in the Bible. He did AMAZING things that are recounted in the Old AND New Testaments. The whole reason Jesus came was to reunite us with God, to breach the gap that was created in the garden so we could know God. Jesus came so we could experience the full trinity, right? So we could know the Father as well as the Son and Holy Spirit. While God is so much bigger than our imaginations can possibly capture, we should be able to grasp at least some idea of what God looks like. Technically, since we have seen Jesus, we have also seen God.

John 14: 7-11 says, "Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus sai to him, :Have I been so long with you, andyewt you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves."

Let's also look at what other scripture verses say about what God looks like. 

Daniel 7:9-10:
9 “As I looked,
   “thrones were set in place,
   and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
   the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
   and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
   coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
   ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
   and the books were opened.

Psalm 104:1-4:
 1 Praise the LORD, my soul.
   LORD my God, you are very great;
   you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
 2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;
   he stretches out the heavens like a tent
 3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
   and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,[a]
   flames of fire his servants.

Ezekiel 1:25-28:
25 Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. 26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Habakkuk 3:3:
God comes from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covers the heaven, and the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight. He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power.

The Bible also refers to God as a burning bush, a pillar of fire, the whisper of wind, a lamb, a lion, a warrior, a dancer, a singer, a lover and bridegroom, a loving Father, and so much more.

So why is it important to know what God looks like? Is it important?
For me it is. How can we recognize God in our daily lives if we have no idea what He looks like?
How can I ask Him deep, personal questions about my life
and expect answers if I don't know who I'm talking to?
If I don't know what His attributes are, I won't be able to recognize Him when I do see Him.
It would be like walking down the street past a famous person, like Bill Gates,
and completely ignoring him because you have no idea what he looks like.
An opportunity may be missed to have an amazing conversation, encounter, experience, or testimony
all because of the failure to recognize Him.
I guess it's kind of like if you've never seen a picture of the Queen of England.
You know she exists, and people talk about her, so you can get an idea of what she may look like.
We have the ability to research and find out what she looks like.
There are books written about her, pictures on the internet,
or one could even go to London and hope to get a glimpse of the real person at the palace.
It's the same with God.
No one has seen God, true, but if we know He exists.
We've heard other people talk about Him...a lot.
And we have the ability to research and find out a little bit about what He looks like.
There are books written about Him (He even wrote one of them),
there are pictures on the internet (although take them with a grain of salt),
or one could even pray and ask to see a glimpse of Him. He loves to show Himself to us.

These are just my ramblings on the subject.
It is something that has been on my mind the past few weeks.
I plan on pondering the subject even more in the coming weeks.
Any ponderings on the subject?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kim Walker Interview

Rodney showed me this interview today and it blew my mind.  
Experiences like the one she had make me joyful, expectant, hopeful, and hungry.

Click on the video to watch it here on my blog.
If it doesn't load, check it out here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So my most recent blog is personal to me as it comes on the heels of approximately 8 weeks of studying the power of words in my small group that I'm leading. We meet once a week up at Rosa's house (for those of you who've been here, it's the yellow house in the Mangoes we can see from our porch...Lester's house). We've talked about the power of words in our personal lives, with our families, and with our friends. Last night we talked about the power of words in our relationship with God. I'd like to share what I learned:

We started in Psalm 103. In the Bible study we read just verses 1-6, but I've included the whole passage, because it's REALLY encouraging:

 1 Praise the LORD, my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
 6 The LORD works righteousness
   and justice for all the oppressed.
 7 He made known his ways to Moses,
   his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
   nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
   or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
 13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.
 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.
   Praise the LORD, my soul.

This Psalm of praise is completely mind blowing!! David reminds us to do two things, two verbs, Praise (some versions say Bless) and Forget not. Why?!? Because of ALLLLLL the verbs the Lord DOES for us...Forgives. Heals. Redeems. Crowns. Satisfies. Renews. Works righteousness and justice. Has compassion and grace. Is slow to anger. Abounds in love. Will not always accuse. Will not harbor anger. Does not treat our sins as we deserve or repay the wrong we do....etc., etc., etc. Our praise helps remind us of all the blessings the Lord has for our lives. But praise is not always easy. The next passage we looked at is from Hebrews 13.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise
—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
The fruit of lips singing praise... :)
Hebrews also talks about the same two verbs, Praise and Forget not. But Hebrews also reminds us that praise is a sacrifice. To sacrifice means to “surrender”,  to “give-up” , “to offer” something of value that we would rather hold on to. Our praise and worship is most valuable to the Lord, it is a sweet smelling aroma to Him.  No gift is greater than that of praise and worship from the lips of his children.  To withhold Praise does nothing for our lives. We see no blessing. But it is the “letting go” that truly reaps great benefits (ALL the benefits mentioned in Psalms 103). Rather than murmur and complain over life circumstances, rather than weep and moan, rather than give into despair and hopeless, rather than becoming angry with God for allowing bad situations to happen, we should instead begin to PRAISE!  Begin to offer up to the Lord, the “Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.”  When we do this our words reaches the ears of a Father who is delighted by it. And it can seem like such a sacrifice at times, especially when we don't want to, don't feel good, have a bad attitude, life is poopy, but that is when the sacrifice costs us the most and is most pleasing.

On the flip side, what happens when our words are just words? Isaiah 29 puts it this way:

 13 The Lord says:
   “These people come near to me with their mouth
   and honor me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
   is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
   with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
   the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Lip Service

Wow. This is harsh. And yet so true. How many times in our lives do we give lip service but not have our heart in what we're doing? We go to church because that's what we've always done. It's what's expected. But this is not a sacrifice. It's hollow and empty. This is what happens when we blah, blah, blah with our mouths but there is no connection to our hearts. We speak without thinking or do it because it's become a routine. What God desires is true worshippers who worship and praise in spirit and in truth. When we have a reconnection between the few inches of our mouths to our hearts, that makes all the difference in the world.

PS: Nobody likes a potty mouth.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Comments on my recent facebook post....

"Why does facebook have to become a forum for our inner stream of consciousness to become public knowledge? Can't some thoughts just be thoughts?!?!"

This was my most recent facebook post. And it's true. I love facebook. There can be value in facebook. It can be used for many purposes and with many intents. I enjoy using it to keep connected with friends at home in the states. It makes me feel like I'm not quite so far away from home. But there are dangers to facebook, too. Facebook has now become a forum for whatever passes through our heads to be visually displayed to the world. When I was younger and had wild, crazy thoughts, the only person that would know about it would be me...well, maybe the pages of my diary would burn a bit with my pithy, teenage angst...or perhaps my best friend would hear an ear-full on the phone. But for the most part, my thoughts stayed in my head. Sure I would roll them around and have many inner discussions about them, but for the most part no one else was privy to them. After, like, 5 minutes, like I would be onto something new and for the most part the world was brighter again. Thought in, thought out.

However with the modern invention of facebook, we can verbally vomit our every thought and whim for the world to process, comment on, like, dislike, hash and rehash over and over and over and over and over and over. The problem with this is that while you may be inside your own head and know what you're talking and raving about, the rest of us are not. A simple comment may be taken a hundred different ways and out of hundred different contexts. People may misconstrue a sentence and it sets off like wild fire in other's hearts and minds (Proverbs 26:20
Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down). Instead of just one person thinking, processing, and coming to a conclusion about a situation, thousands are now involved.

Out of such comments comes much danger. When do we cross the line into unfair judgment, gossip, worldy and empty chatter based on what someone else says about an issue that may not even involve us?!? Do we not see how are our options about other people and situations can be easily shaped just a few ill chosen words on a computer screen? Even the Bible warns against this, saying in 2 Timothy 2:16: "But aviod wordly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangene". Proverbs simply states, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secret, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter," and "He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends."  

Am I saying to abandon facebook? No. That is not my point. I am saying we need to be careful, myself included, in what we post as well as in what we say. Let some things stay private thoughts and let us discuss our issues with only the people they involve. Let us look Biblically again in how to handle our lives and personal matters!!! Our words have weight. They have impact. I will leave this post with Jesus' thought on the matter from Matthew 12.
33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad,
for a tree is recognized by its fruit.
34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment
for every empty word they have spoken.
37 For by your words you will be acquitted,
and by your words you will be condemned.”

 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
   be pleasing in your sight,
   LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

(emphasis mine)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Set a Fire

This is one of our new favorite worship songs at Viña Anonos. Steve, Tito, and I translated it so we could sing it here. Check it out, click on the link or on the picture below to see the video on YouTube!!

///There´s no place I´d rather be///
//Than here in your love//

So set a fire in my soul that I can´t contain, that I can´t control.
I want more of You, God
I want more of You, God

///No hay un lugar mejor///
//Solo en tu amor//

Hay un fuego en mi ser, no tengo control no puedo contener.
Quiero mas de Ti, Dios
Quiero mas de Ti, Dios

¨Set a Fire¨ by Will Reagan & United Pursuit Band


Oh, God, let this be the prayer of our hearts,
to look for You and seek Your face.
To know that there is no better place than in Your presence.
To know in our hearts that there is NO place we would rather be than in Your love.
Set fires in our souls that would burn for You!!!
Are we a people that long for an uncontrollable fire??
Do we yearn to contain ourselves and our emotion??
Or do we ferverently desire the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
A fire that is not controlled, not safe, not contained,
but spreads like Wild Fire!!!
A contagious fire that consumes us.
I want more of You, God!!

"The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying,
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
~Jeremiah 31:3

Psalm 145
I will exalt you, my God the King;
   I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
   and extol your name for ever and ever.

 3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
   his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
   they tell of your mighty acts.
5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
   and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b]
6 They tell of the power of your awesome works—
   and I will proclaim your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abundant goodness
   and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

 8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate,
   slow to anger and rich in love.

 9 The LORD is good to all;
   he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, LORD;
   your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
   and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
   and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
   and your dominion endures through all generations.

   The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
   and faithful in all he does.[c]
14 The LORD upholds all who fall
   and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
   and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
   and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
   and faithful in all he does.
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
   to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
   he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
   but all the wicked he will destroy.

 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
   Let every creature praise his holy name
   for ever and ever.

 Therefore, since we are receiving
a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us be thankful,
and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 
for our “God is a consuming fire."
~Hebrews 12:28-29

Thursday, March 3, 2011


 God has called us each to take on a unique role in life, and all of us have our own interests and abilities. One of the ways that teams share when they are here is by giving of these gifts and talents in their own special way. Our job is to facilitate these gifts in a practical way here in the community. We have the pleasure of connecting with a local teen shelter where teens with babies can live until they are 18. They receive a full education, hot meals, day care during the day, and a beautiful facility for them and their babies to eat, live, play, grow, and sleep. The last two teams that have come have brought very talented people. The Virginia team brough Eleanor, a hair dresser who has been augmenting people's beauty through hair styling for 43 years. The Mechanic Falls team brough Gemma, Faith, and Erin, three teens highly gifted at crochet. While these seem like polar opposite giftings, both sets of women got to spend time teaching the girls at the shelter. With both sets of lessons, the girls were given everything they would need to continue practicing their new art. I got the joy of learning alongside the girls while I translated. Here are their stories:

 Eleanor brought a suitcase full of hair dressing heads (thank goodness she made it through customs okay...imagine having to answer for that suitcase!!) The girls practiced combing and cutting on the manequins before actually trying it out on each other. They learned how to curl, straighten, cut, and blow dry. They mostly cut straight lines and simple layers.

Eleanor brought loads of hair styling magazines that the girls thumbed through.
They each picked out a new style and practiced cutting each other's hair
(with Eleanor right over their shoulders, of course).

 Each girl was given her own bag with everything she would need to start her own salon, including hair dryer, curling irons, clips, scissors, thinning shears, combs, brushes, spray bottles, and more!

The next team brought 3 enthusiastic teens who are super good at crochet.
They make everything from bags and blankets to flowers and gloves.
They taught the girls three different stitches.

This girl is a lefty. She had so much determination and perserverance even though she had to do everything backwards. She really did catch on quick with some hand-over-hand and
mirror image teaching.

These two girls had done some crochet before. They were super fast and accurate.

This is Faith Potter with one of the girls. I really saw her grow
during the three days of lessons. I saw her patiently teach the left handed girl and try to figure out
the best way to teach. She also tried
really hard to communicate and make friends
with the girls, even though it was hard.
She also picked up some Spanish along the way!!

My Spanish was also stretched. They don't teach "stitch", "double crochet", "bangs",
or even "curling iron" in Spanish 301!!!

I love taking people over to this shelter. It gives them a great oppotunity to use their own special talents
while teaching some one else. It gives these girls an opporunity
for employment when they leave the shelter.
Most importantly, it builds relationships
and positive, encouraging friendships while spreading the love of Christ
in a real and applicable way.
Everyone really enjoyed praying with the girls and
speaking blessings over them and their babies.
If you ever plan on coming to Costa Rica, think about the things you enjoy doing.
Think about the skills, talents, or passions
you could teach some one else.
God has given you unique gifts and abilities for a reason.
Who knows, maybe next year you'll be teaching art, dance, crafts, or sports with the teens at the shelter.

A few of my favorite recipes!!!

Cindy's Honey Currant Scones
Makes 8 servings

2 1/2 c. flour (Cindy made them with whole wheat flour here and they were AWESOME!!)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. currants/raisins
1/2 c. dairy sour cream
2 tsp grated orange peal
1/2 butter or margarine
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 c. honey
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine flour, orange peel, baking powder, soda, and salt; mix well. Cut butter into flour mixture. Add currants. Combine sour cream, honey, and egg in a separate bowl. Mix well. Stir honey mixture into dry mixture to form a soft dough. Turn dough onto floured surface, kneed 10 times, shape dough into 8-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Place on a greased baking pan and bake at 375F 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

10 Cup Cookies
This is a team favorite. Everyone who has had these cookies so far has raved about them!!

1 c. butter
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar (I use 1 c. white sugar + 1 Tbsp molasses...that's the secret)
1 c. flour
1 c. uncooked quick oats
1 c. shaved coconut
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. raisins
1 c. chopped pecans
(Some times to balance the recipe, I add 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips and cut the raisins down to 1/2 c. ;)

Mix sugars, butter, peanut butter, and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, and coconut. Mix well. Add chocolate chips, raisins, and nuts. Roll into cookie shaped balls. Don't be stingy. Make nice sized cookies. I can usually fit 20 on a regular sized baking tray. They don't spread too much... Bake at 350 degrees for 13 miuntes. If you are tempted to eat one right off the tray, have a glass of cold milk handy, because the chocolate gets nice and hot.


Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

This is DELICIOUS!!!! AND is made with tofu...that´s the secret ingredient and it´s excellent!!!!!! I made it for Christina´s birthday and it was a big hit.

Have ready:
One 9" baked pie shell (I like to use the prepared graham cracker crusts)

Blend in  blender or food processor until smooth and creamy:
1 lb. tofu
3/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. oil (I usually use extra virgin olive oil)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

Pour into the baked pie shell. Decorate with semi-sweet chocolate shavings/chips and freeze. Before serving let thaw for about 10 minutes. If you can't wait, run the knife under hot water ;)

Careful on serving sizes, the recipe says it makes 6-8 servings, but each serving is 529 calories!!! We've found we can get at least 12-16 servings and it makes our waists happier :)


Asparagus and Bacon Quiche
Makes one 9" pie pan

1/2 lb. Asparagus cut into 1/2" pieces (I used canned, but you can also steam fresh.)
5 slices of bacon (I used turkey bacon cooked the day before)
2 eggs
3/4 c. Half & Half (I used regular milk)
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup swiss cheese (I used a combo of mozzerella and pepper jack cheese)

1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used safflower oil, it's what we had :)
2 Tbsp milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For crust, place all ingredients in a 9" pie pan and mix with a fork. Pat into the bottom of the pan. Poke holes in the bottom and sides of the crust. Brush with 1 egg white. Sprinkle the bacon and asparagus into the bottom of the pie crust. Cover the asparagus and bacon generously with cheese. Beat together the eggs, half & half (or milk), nutmeg, and salt/pepper with a hand mixer on medium speed until completely scramble out of its mind. Pour eggs over cheese. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until crust and top are brown