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How I Roast 2 Chickens Without Heating Up My Kitchen

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roasted-chicken

We eat a lot of chicken in this house.

It’s one of the most frugal meat options, especially when you purchase the whole bird. Gone are the days of boneless, skinless, chicken breast being the star of dinner. I use still them, but only occasionally, sparingly, and with much thought.

Costco’s 2-pack of whole chickens cannot be beat when it comes to the price. At around $6 for each bird, it is the most frugal way I know to feed the meat-lovers in my family. When you consider that I can get 2-3 meals and chicken broth from each bird, it is no wonder I cook one a week.

Actually, with this 18 Quart Roaster Oven, I am able to cook 2 at a time without heating up the kitchen. This method saves me both time and money.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

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Only A Mountain

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mountains

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know how I feel about Christian music. Click here to read my Musings On Music.

This is a song I reach for when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed about any situation that feels too big for me in that moment. While listening to a song certainly doesn’t solve all of my problems, move mountains, or make all of the stress and fear go away, it does change my perspective. Continue reading →

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9 Ways to Speak (or not) Love Into Your Marriage

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Husband & Wife Holding Hands

In honor of my in-law’s 43rd wedding anniversary today, I’d like to share one of my favorite tips on cultivating a blessed marriage.

It’s a simple idea, but one that takes great effort.

Our marriage has experienced its fair share of highs and lows over the past 21 years. One thing we have learned is the power of our words. If you missed my recent guest post Guarding Our Words, you can read that here.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” ~Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

My husband and I have created a daily habit of praising one another with our words. Too often, we do the opposite with our words when one of us is out of sorts, but that’s to be expected when two imperfect people attempt to do life together. In those times, hopefully one of us will respond to the other in grace, patience, and love. Usually, that is enough to change the entire course of a conversation that is headed in a downward spiral.

Too often, however, the second doesn’t choose to answer the first very kindly as feathers have been ruffled. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that that doesn’t go well. We don’t honor each other, or God, when we allow our words to take us down that path.

This is the difficult thing about relationships. We know how we are supposed to speak to one another, but when feelings are hurt, the mouth is much harder to control. In an effort to cultivate and maintain an honoring marriage, we have instilled a few guidelines that we follow regardless of how emotional we get. Continue reading →

12

Health vs. Finances

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orange  pepper moneyOne of the biggest challenges for me, as a homemaker, is finding a balance between purchasing healthy food and staying within a reasonable, affordable budget. I consider myself a whole food lover, I prefer to eat organic food over conventional, and the health of my family is important to me.

However, there have been times where I have had to choose a less healthy option due to our financial limitations. Many times I have stressed about how my decisions to be frugal will affect the health of my family.

For me, I have decided to do the best that I can for my family, and realize that, ultimately, our health is in God’s hands.

For this reason, I consider myself a person who takes a balanced approach when it comes to the tension between healthy food and finances. I decide what price I am willing to pay for each item. Sometimes it will be the healthy choice, sometimes it will be the frugal choice, but I will always trust God in the end.

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How to Not Let the Past Dictate the Future

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chains

I am so thankful that I am a new me. I don’t like everything about the old me.

This isn’t a post where I get bragging rights. I’m not here to boast about how together I am.

In fact, I wrote recently about how we must be careful not to fall into the comparison trap. If you missed that post, you can read it here – Grace, Not Perfection.

You see, I have this wonderful friend who has, on occasion, lamented about how he wishes he had come to faith in Jesus Christ earlier in his life as it would have saved him some grief. I try to remind him that our pasts have made us who we are in the present.

We all have regrets about who we were and the things we have done, but we need to remember that it is the present that dictates how we are affected by our past. Continue reading →

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The How’s and Why’s of a Pantry Challenge

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dried goods

If not, this post will explain the what, why, and how of a Pantry Challenge. If you have, perhaps you will be encouraged to find your own reasons for trying one.

A Pantry Challenge is when you take stock of the items you have in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. You take an inventory of the food you have so than you can plan menus using what you have already purchased rather than making a shopping list and heading to the store. Continue reading →

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Dreams, Goals, and God’s Will

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fireworks

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

When I think of the word dreams, the song lyrics “a dream is a wish your heart makes” immediately comes to mind. When we dream about the future, we think about things that we wish would happen.

My husband and I dream of paying off our mortgage as soon as possible and the financial relief that will give us. However much we dream about paying off our mortgage, it won’t happen on its own. This dream is nothing but a wish for the future because without goals, dream are just fairy tales. Making the dream come true will require another step. It will require not just wishing with our hearts, but working hard with our hands.

Set your goals high, and don’t stop til you get there.” ~Bo Jackson

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Cinnamon Skillet Apples

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Cinnamon Skillet Apples

Not that I ever feel guilty about eating an apple pie, but I don’t always want to take the time to make a crust. I’m kinda lazy that way.

Unless you have a countertop convection oven, you don’t want to be heating up your kitchen in the summer by baking a pie. If you missed my post on baking in the summer without heating up the kitchen, you can read that here.

My Cinnamon Skillet Apples are the perfect alternative. You can have the flavors of the All-American Apple Pie without the downsides.

As usual, don’t take my word for it. Give these babies a try. You won’t regret it. Continue reading →

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I’ve Been Singing The Wrong Lyrics

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heart puzzleHave you ever had someone tell you that you were singing the song wrong?

I wanted to write about one of my favorite EVER lines in a song. I looked up the lyrics and the site had it incorrect, so I checked another site.

Would you believe that one was in error as well? I went straight to the source and discovered that I, in fact, had been singing the wrong lyrics for years.

It takes courage to say what I am about to say. I like mine just as much. Continue reading →

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4 Tips to Saving Time in the Kitchen

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black & white clockIf you know me in real life, or have spent time reading my blog, you know that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen in an effort to stretch my husband’s paycheck as far as it can possibly go. As I have said before, I believe that the kitchen is the area we have the most control over in terms of how much, or how little, money we spend.

While I consider it my job to make his paycheck go as far as it can and I do enjoy working in my kitchen, I don’t want to be in it 24/7. Because of that, I am always looking for ways to streamline my kitchen activities.

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The Cost of Unbelief

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Lifted Hands Waterfall

Numbers 20 tells the story of Moses and the Israelites as they wander in the desert without water.

If you’re familiar with the story, you know that the Israelites often complained bitterly and incessantly to Moses because they considered their wandering in the desert to be a much harsher experience than their slavery in Egypt. At least there they had grain, figs, vines, pomegranates, cucumbers, and leeks among other culinary delights. Here, they didn’t even have water. They made sure to continually remind Moses of their discontent. Continue reading →

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Why I Don’t Think Credit Cards Are All Bad

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Credit Card

Years ago, before my husband and I had children, we had debt. Lots of it.

We had the mentality that if we could afford the minimum monthly payment, then we could afford to purchase the items we wanted. We drove a very nice, brand new truck with a $400+ payment because, well, we could afford the payment.

Then we found out that we were expecting a baby. Continue reading →

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Character and Courage

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Bible-and-cup

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” ~Psalm 31:24

The message one recent Sunday morning was about the faith of two characters from Hebrews chapter 11. My first example was Joshua. In order to provide the proper context of the message dealing with the faith of Joshua, I took the people back to Joshua chapter 1. If you are familiar with the passage, you know the clarion call of God was for him to be courageous in the face of his difficult assignment. Continue reading →

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What If It’s Not A Happy Father’s Day?

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A Father's Love

I feel incredibly blessed on Father’s Day more than most.

Not only is the father of my children my very best friend, but he is a wonderful, loving, and dedicated father to our two children.

Another one of my very best friends is my own father. I appreciate his presence in my life more than words can express.

I have also been blessed with a kind, generous, and loving father-in-law.

And if that weren’t enough, I have a Father in Heaven who loves me more than I can possibly imagine. We all do.

On this day, I have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate, but I can’t help but think about those who do not feel the same way.

You see, for some, this day conjures up feelings of anger, pain, hurt, resentment, loss, frustration, and a host of other feelings.

While we spend the day celebrating the wonderful fathers in our lives, others wish this day simply didn’t exist. Continue reading →

6

He Is Praying For You

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wheat

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” ~Luke 22:31-34 (NKJV)

As our family was reading this chapter, several thoughts came to mind. The first was, Has Satan asked to sift our family like wheat? Surely there are seasons in our lives where it seems like everything that can go wrong does, and we wonder if Godly testing might just be reason behind our circumstances.

My next thought was the overwhelming comfort I felt in Jesus’ words, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” I cannot even begin to put into words the peace that this sentence gives me; as I know that my Jesus not only prayed this for Peter, but that He prays it for you and I as well. Continue reading →

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23+ Ways I Use Vinegar

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bottle

Are you a fan of vinegar?  A few years ago, I would have never imagined I would buy gallon bottles by the case at Costco. A quick internet search will give you countless uses for the pungent-smelling, clear liquid. Today I want to share with you the ways I personally use it. It is much easier on our environment than many of the harsh chemicals we are purchasing from the store. It’s also a much more frugal option than many of those said chemicals. So grab a gallon, give a few of these a try, and then maybe branch out and try a few more.

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Fence Riders

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fence

“Am I foolishness to you?

And is it laughable the things I do?

Can I sing about my Maker
And have you not roll your eyes?
Can I weep about my Savior
And the way he died?

I know it don’t make sense
To those who ride the fence
But I’m sold out to Christ”

The lyrics above are part of a song called Fence Riders by Jimmy Needham. We are huge Christian music fans in our family.  We love the idea of feeding our faith through music. We enjoy cranking up the music on Saturday when we are doing chores around the house. I often use upbeat music to give me a boost of energy when I really don’t feel like making dinner. Sometimes I’m just having trouble dealing with the things of life and nothing lifts my spirit like singing praises to my Lord and Savior. Listening to Christian music is just one of the ways we work on building our faith. We are so blessed as there are some very talented artists in the Christian music scene. Jimmy Needham is one of them!

As a writer, the lyrics are the most important part of a song for me. When I am singing along with my favorite artists, I am using their lyrics to praise, to pray, to gather strength from the truths within them, and to draw closer to my God. I like to contemplate what is being sung about, which often prompts me to want to write.

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Easy, Healthy Corn & Black Bean Salad

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corn and black bean salad

I recently posted about baking during the summer without heating up the kitchen. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Another well known trick is enjoying lots of salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. This Corn & Black Bean Salad is a favorite. It’s my usual fare at potlucks and it is always a hit.

I call it a salad because that’s the way I enjoy it. You could take this a step further by serving it over a bed of fresh lettuce with your favorite salad dressing. I’m dreaming of a spicy, Chipotle Ranch dressing. Add some chopped chicken, and you’ve got a complete meal!

Others call it a salsa because they enjoy it with chips, in fish tacos, or on top of a grilled steak. Any way you choose to serve it, it is easy, delicious, healthy, and it won’t heat up the kitchen.

But don’t take my word for it… Continue reading →

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Grace, Not Perfection

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Grace
I so enjoy being a part of the online community.

I look forward to visiting my favorite blogs on a regular basis. I’m thrilled when I learn something new. I am moved when people share their hearts, their burdens, and their struggles. I appreciate being encouraged to grow in my faith with a wonderful devotion. Knowing how I feel about food, you can imagine how happy new recipes make me!

The thing is, we have to be very careful.

It is so easy for us to set standards based on the lives of others and set ourselves up for comparisons and competitions. This is dangerous, my friends, for it often leads to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, or discontentment. We must tread with caution. Continue reading →

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Our God Reigns

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Bible-and-cup

Psalm 97

As I am sure you have experienced from time to time, life can be quite unpredictable. Actually, I am glad that it is. Why? Because, given our penchant for worrying over the least little things, we would be a basket case by the time the predicted event came to pass. It is enough to know that things will happen that I am not prepared for. Many come to me in the form of testing.

So, how do we cope? I am convinced that the psalmist had the right idea. Believers have only to look to God for the answers to life’s challenges. Hope in the life of the believer is not some warm and fuzzy feeling, but a reality from God. Continue reading →

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I Have No Business Baking Anything

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oven-knobs

Neither do you.

As temperatures rise across the country, most of us are thinking about cold sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The internet is full of homemade ice cream, fruit salsa, and other no-bake recipes. Turning on the oven is a huge no-no for many.

Even though we haven’t warmed up much yet, the time is coming. However, I bake all year long without ever worrying about heating up the kitchen. It’s true; I bake bread all summer long. You can, too!

My secret is this little baby.

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Blogging For A Cause

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hand-with-water

Today I am going to stray from my usual format because I have an announcement to make.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a blog called Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids. (Click on highlighted title to visit her blog!) She has a section called “Comments for a Cause”. Val donates a set amount for each comment she receives on her blog to a new charity each month.

After reading her story, I went out to water and weed the garden. When I am alone in the garden, I often spend my time there in prayer. I prayed about how I could implement this system into my own blog, not just for God’s glory, but so that others would benefit. Continue reading →

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