Friday, November 22, 2013

Greek Cappucino Swirl

Greek yogurt is a wonderful thing. It makes an awesome snack, side or light breakfast. It is thick, creamy and high in protein. I love it because it is so versatile and so lends itself to many different flavor combinations. This particular flavor combination is one of my favorites because I am a coffee fan and and even bigger chocolate fan and any for of combining those two makes me very happy. This recipe calls for espresso powder but you could use instant coffee if you want a decaf version because the expresso powder has a way, if eaten at 10 at night, of keeping you awake well past 1 in the morning (don't ask me how I knew that.) It is helpful however, for those nights before a conference when things that need to be done are keeping you up into the wee hours of the morning that the conference is supposed to start (don't ask me how I knew that either.) Anyway this snack is kind of like a chocolate coffee pudding but if you want it more runny like regular yogurt you could add more water to your espresso powder mixture. Also this recipe is low fat, low carb, low calorie and low sugar, for those of you who are into that sort of thing.

Greek Cappuccino Swirl
1\2 c. nonfat plain greek yogurt
1 TBS. water
1 tsp. espresso powder or 2 tsp. instant coffee
1 -2 TBS. desired sweetener  (I use Stevia in the Raw)
1 TBS. cocoa powder
1\2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Dissolve the espresso powder or instant coffee in the water. Put the yogurt in a bowl or a mug; whichever you prefer. Make sure it is big enough to give you enough room to mix everything. Add the rest of the ingredients including the dissolved coffee. Mix very well. ENJOY!!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Foundations of Social Order

     "I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."
     This phrase is probably very familiar to many of us. 
Perhaps you read it regularly in your church. This is the opening affirmation of the Nicene creed. The Nicene Creed was penned at the council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The council was called to decide the theological conflict between orthodox, trinitarian Christianity, which held that Christ was "one essence" with God; and semi-arianism, which held that Christ was of "like essence" with God. The Nicene creed is a summary of the council's conclusion. While the Nicene creed, as well as the Apostle's Creed are the most well known and widely used creeds; there were many creeds and councils in early church history.
     The Foundations of Social Order by R. J. Rushdoony walks the reader through the ecumenical councils of the early church. Starting with the Apostles Creed on to the 3rd Council of Constantinople, Rushdoony explains the battles the early church fathers waged against the errors which threatened to destroy the historical, apostolic faith. From the earliest days of the church, Greek humanism  found inroads into the church through corrupt heterodox leaders. Yet the true "most holy" faith prevailed by the providential power of God and the faithful labors of godly men, "taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ".  God used these early councils to establish "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" . This book is a readable and is very helpful in understanding early church history.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cox Happenings

Emma asked me to do a post about what is happening in the Cox family so to please her and give myself a photography challenge, I decided to keep my camera with me all day and take pictures of the happenings of today (now yesterday since this post has taken me longer than expected). I chose a good day to do it because today(yesterday)  was very busy with conference preparations and my aunt and her kids came. I am also going to use this opportunity to catch up on my 313 pictures.

Day 155
I started my morning with devotions. I am reading through the Bible in a year chronologically so I am in the four gospels right now.
After family morning devotions we had breakfast. Have you ever heard of having rice for breakfast? I hadn't until I heard the thrifty couple mention that they like having that for breakfast so I tried it. I simply fried freshly cooked rice in coconut oil then added brown sugar, crasins and cinnamon. My siblings really liked it with maple syrup drizzled over it. rice is kind of like oatmeal in that it is very versitle so you could add anything to it. In the other pan is a zucchini fritter which you, Emma might be interested in. To make it simply add two eggs to one cup shredded zucchini and whisk well. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Fry in melted coconut oil or butter until firm enough to flip and then fry on the other side. I eat it with a little bit of olive oil drizzled over it and nutritional yeast.
Do you think we have enough large kitchen cooking devices???
Breakfast time. You can see who likes the camera and who doesn't ;):)
Day 156

Day 157

This is what you get when you are trying to feed over 200 people 3 meals. This isn't even all the food!!! Elianna sure is having fun with all this new stuff within her reach ;)

Morning Preparations. The first picture is before she noticed me then when she saw the camera she decided to pose :)
Hannah and i are in charge of doing the kitchen. With all the cooking that has been going on the dishes have been piling up. HELP!!!!!!
We are helping cook 30 pounds of beans. Our crock pot is going to need a holiday after this weekend. So is our roaster. It is getting tired after cooking 100's of pieces of chicken and Hannah is getting a little frustrated cleaning the roaster so much.

Day 158
The past couple weeks Brendan has suddenly started reading alot more. Today he came up to mom and said "You know how I have been reading a lot recently?"
 mom: "Yes" 
Brendan"Well I think God wants me to be a cowboy."
 mom: "What does that have to do with reading?"
 Brendan: "Well, I need to stop reading so many books otherwise I might become a philosopher."
Where did he get that idea???
 Organizing and detailing are what we are filling our week with.  Since we are hosting the conference at another church we have to make sure all the stuff we are bringing is clearly labeled otherwise one of our coffee pot cords might go missing, again.
Lunch time!!! Elianna's favorite time of day.
For lunch I reheated the breakfast rice and served it wrapped in tortillas.
Day 159
And a smoothie. I love looking at the layers in the blender. By the way here is a recipe for a easy and yummy fruit and veggie smoothie that my siblings are big fans of.

Basic Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
In a blender chop up 1 large carrot, 1\2 zucchini or 1\4 head of cabbage, 1 banana, 1 heaped cup frozen strawberries and 1 heaped cup frozen pineapple and if you want a sweeter smoothie add a couple handfuls of dried dates. Add enough liquid to cover all the fruit. I use a can of coconut water and some regular water. Blend until smooth.

In preparation for my aunt's arrival we had to clean the bathrooms. Hannah and Sean are in charge of cleaning the boy's bathroom; while Scott and I are in charge of the girl's bathroom.
I came in to find Hannah and Sean dancing to some music. I guess whatever it takes to make a no fun chore fun, works. I got a great video of them but for some reason my blog wouldn't let me upload it.

 Nathan's contribution for the day was to go shovel hay. He is a big worker man :)
Day 160
The day's work left Nathan exhausted. Don't you wish you could just lie down and take a nap in the middle of the afternoon? I do.

One of the meals we are serving is baked potatoes. How many potatoes does it require to feed a conference full of people? 480 potatoes and there they all are waiting to be washed and poked.

Hannah and I have started walking some of our neighbor's dogs. This particular dog is our favorite. She is a very well behaved black lab and we love walking for her (even if she does have to stop to go to the bathroom every 10 yards)

Day 161
There were some awesome storm clouds that never stormed but they made for a spectacular scenery and a gorgeous sunset.
Day 162
My aunt and her kids arrived in the afternoon while mom was in town. I would like to say that we were totally ready and cleaned up when they arrived but actually it was quite the opposite; they took us quite by surprise in the midst of our clean up. Oh well, we are glad they are here.
Day 163
A house full of 15 people, 8 of whom are 10 and under is constantly full of activity and noise until all the littles go to bed. Then you get enough of a break and quiet to finish a blog post like I am doing :):)

Day 164
Family mealtime is our favorite time of the day. It is a time to debrief the events of the day even though for some of us (myself included) the day is far from over!!
Day 165
If Hannah or I summarized the past couple days' acctivities in one word we would probably say "brownies" We are making brownies to serve for one of the desserts. We first thought we would have to make 14 boxes of brownie mix but now we are discovering we need something between 18 and 20. So if any of you come to the conference and enjoy a brownie, please know that the brownie you are enjoying was lovingly handcrafted by Hannah and me, just for you :):P

Day 166
Daddy has been busily studying and preparing for his message he is going to give this weekend.
Day 167
Hannah, the crazy stirer (is that a word?) She also made her famously delicious pancakes for today's breakfast. She did want me to mention that this picture was taken at 9:30 at night and she was getting tired.
Oh yes, and what is a conference without oranges?
Day 168
This is what your freezer looks like when you are preparing food for over 200 people. We will see how empty it looks at the end of the day!!
Day 169
So, Emma and all the rest of you forbearing folks. That is what is happening in our family right now. I am excited for the conference and hopefully I will be able to take lots of pictures to show you.
Good night and God bless y'all!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

3 Great Ways to Use Leftover Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a long standing staple in most families; especially large ones. It makes sense since it is cheap to make, feeds lots of people, is very filling and versatile. The one problem is that it is not the most appealing leftover. It gets slimy and jelly like. ewww... But here are three of my favorite ways to reconstitute leftover oatmeal so that it is put to good use.

Oatmeal Bread                                
I found this recipe on Food Network so I take no credit for it (or the picture which came off the Food Network site) This bread is really moist and super yummy. It makes really good toast. I read that this is a similar recipe to what many women used during World War One because of rationing.


1 package active dry yeast
11 ounces bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1/4 cup toasted uncooked old fashioned rolled oats, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces leftover, cooked old fashioned rolled oats, at room temperature
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for bowl and pan
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the yeast, bread flour, 1/4 cup toasted, uncooked oats, and the salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the leftover cooked oatmeal, warm water, agave syrup, and 1 tablespoon of oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry mixture to the cooked oatmeal mixture in 3 installments and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon after each addition.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand for 10 minutes, incorporating more flour, if needed. Dough will be sticky. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or container. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, shape it into a loaf, and put it into a lightly oiled 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
  • Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon toasted, uncooked oats. 
  • Bake until the bread reaches an internal temperature registers 210 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 55 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Remove the loaf from the pan to a cooling rack for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Yield: 1 Loaf

Oatmeal Muffins
This is my family's favorite way to use leftover oatmeal. You can use this basic recipe to make any kind of muffin depending on what you add. We really like banana nut. We add 1 banana and a cup of pecan. Or you can add a cup of blueberries, chocolate chips, craisins, raisins or whatever you like. 
P.S. I didn't take this picture either but I have never taken pictures of these muffins. I guess I didn't really need to include a picture because I am sure all of you know what muffins look like. Oh well, you get a bonus ;)

1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1\2 tsp. salt
1\2 tsp. cinnamon
1\2 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. leftover oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees 
  • Whisk dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients
  • Stir together the the contents of both bowls
  • Stir in you add - ins of choice
  • Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2\3rds full
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
Yield: 1 doz. muffins (double or triple recipe depending on how much oatmeal you have. You can even do the recipe up to six times over. I know from experience. Don't ask me how we ended up with so much leftover oatmeal.)

Oatmeal Face Mask
This is what Hannah and I do with leftover oatmeal. We try to do a face mask at least once a week and we have always made our own mask. We used to follow recipes then Hannah came up with her own recipe that was a combination of all our favorite recipes. She is an excellent face mask maker :) This mask is a great exfoliating mask and is good for normal to dry skin.
I am not going to put a picture of Hannah and I with the face mask on. It would scare you too badly.

3 slices cucumber
1 TBS. plain yogurt
1 tsp. oil
2 TBS. oatmeal
3 generous pinches of salt
1 baby carrot
1 TBS. honey

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the mixture is to runny add some dry oats. the mixture should be sticky and moist but not runny.
Yield: Enough mixture for face masks for two people. (People mine and Hannah's size that is)