With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: 7/1/12 - 7/8/12

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Think on These Things #21 ~ Striving Together

Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel
Philippians 1:27
I have been blessed to become friends with this sweetest family!
Photo from Nika's Blog Crafts for Christ's Glory
Nika and Zhenya and their three precious children live in a distant and unfamiliar land to me yet I count it a joy to read about their love for the Lord and their work through Nika's blog

I received a surprise package from Nika containing a delicious chocolate bar, a lovely card and this handsome trivet with a scene from her beautiful Russia. What a treasure!
Best of all, it will remind me of their work and to lift this dear family up in prayer as they serve the Lord.
 Has God impressed on your heart something special this week?
Was there a Scripture verse, a song, a quote, a poem or an encouraging word that came your way and caused you to pause.
I'd love for you to share.

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 With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemade Greek Yogurt

For the past few months I have been making Greek-Style Yogurt at home. Inspired by Paula @Salad in a Jar, it took a few batches before I found what worked for me.  Because John is a huge fan of this thick, creamy, tangy and pricey yogurt, he encouraged me to keep trying. He remembered that I frequently made yogurt when our children were little using a convenient yogurt maker. That was back in the day when I pureed cooked veggies and fruits in a small grinder to feed our babies along with sterilizing every bottle and item that touched their sweet little lips!
Though time consuming, making yogurt at home isn't hard and most of the time required is the incubation period.  Paula has an excellent and detailed tutorial with an instructional video on her blog, using the oven to keep a constant incubation temperature. I ran into a problem because, even though my oven has a temperature setting of 100 degrees which is ideal for incubation, it is actually hotter than the setting. I found that if I preheat the oven for just 1 minute, turn it off and keep the oven light on during an 8-10 hour incubation period, the yogurt comes out perfect.

Here is what I do:
Pour 2 quarts of milk (I used 2%) into a large glass container.

Microwave, stirring several times, to a temperature of 180 degrees. (It takes about 15 minutes in my microwave)

Allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees.

Pour a small amount of the cooled milk into a small bowl and whisk in 2 tsps. Greek Yogurt starter that you have purchased or saved from a previous batch.

Whisk into the large container of milk.

Cover with a lid.  Wrap the container of yogurt in a thick blanket or quilt.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees for one (1) minute and turn off.  Turn on the oven light.  Place the wrapped container of yogurt in the back corner of oven near the light bulb. Close oven door and allow yogurt to do its thing.

I wait 10 hours.  Remove yogurt container from oven.  It will be thick with some liquid puddling on top.  This is whey that will be strained off to create a thick Greek-Style product.  I gently pour off the whey and then carefully pour the yogurt into a colander that  has been lined with several coffee filters.  Allow the yogurt to drain for several hours in the refrigerator or even over night.

Discard whey and whisk the yogurt until creamy.  If desired, add vanilla extract and sweetener.  Personally, I prefer mine a little sweet but John likes his with just vanilla.

Be sure to set aside a couple teaspoons before adding vanilla or sweetener as a starter for your next batch.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Let Freedom Ring

I love the 4th of July and I love my country.
A festive and happy time filled with fireworks, parades picnics, ball games, family time.
Yet, I am concerned that our Freedom might be fading...

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees,
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
Words: Sam­u­el F. Smith, 1832

I found this Interesting:
In a remarkable coincidence, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, but another Founding Father who became a President, James Monroe, died on July 4, 1831, thus becoming the third president in a row who died on this memorable day. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872, and, so far, is the only President to have been born on Independence Day.
source: Wikipedia
This cute, patriotic pillow shelf-tuck with the sweetest yoyos and bows was made by my blog friend, Cyn @Cynz Place.  She sent it to me as a give-away gift along with a very beautiful 'Blessings' paper bag album!
Cyn has a sweet Etsy Shop too :)


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