Thursday, July 24, 2014

Key Lime Pie

Have you ever had a recipe that you wanted to try but were to intimidated to attempt? That's what happened with me and key lime pie.

It sounds like such a decadent specialty dish that only experienced chefs could perfect it.

But it's not!

Try this five-ingredient recipe and you'll wish it was summer all year round just so you can make this key lime pie again and again and again.

And by the way, I've learned that "real" key lime pies aren't green - they're pale yellow. The ones that are bright green have coloring added to make them more dramatic.

Ingredients:
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup lime juice
9" pie shell
fresh whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine milk, yolks and lime juice in a medium bowl, blending until smooth.

3. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

4. When done, allow to stand for 10 minutes and then refrigerate.

5. Serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mini Coffee Cup Gift Card Holders

One of our Etsy customers asked me for a special order a couple of weeks ago, and it was a really great idea.

I have full-sized coffee cups in the shop that are large enough to hold a package of cocoa or tea mix. She wanted to know if I could make a miniature version that would hold a gift card.

My mind whirled - well, of course I could!

So I shrunk my pattern (let me know by email if you'd like one). Then I hand-embossed the white card stock that she was looking for and cut out 20 cups.

She wanted a coffee cup image, so I stamped and colored 20 of the images you see here. A little background color and it came out amazing!

Take a look at one of your crafts - one that you make all the time - and see if there's something new and different you can do with it. You might be surprised at what you're missing.

Come visit our Etsy shop at www.stufffromtrees.etsy.com.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blessed Is...

Most people want practical, sensible answers when they read their Bible. It's not about feelings and nice stories, but learning exactly what God wants us to do with our lives.

So when I started a personal study on blessings, I was very surprised to see that God has once again spelled out in simple language what He expects from us.

Here are just a few of the answers to these questions:
* How are we blessed?
* Why does God bless us?
* What characteristics are there in people who are blessed?
* When are we blessed?

I've included the verses, and I encourage you to do some reading and studying on your own.

Blessed is:

- are those who are saved. (Psalm 32:1)

- are those who trust God implicitly. (Psalm 40:4)

- are those who are willing to learn. (Psalm 94:12)

- are those who are alert, listening and patient to hear what God has to say. (Proverbs 8:34)

- are those who are about the Lord's business. (Matthew 24:46)

- are those who are committed to God. (Luke 7:23)

- are those who are looking for Jesus' returning. (Revelation 16:15)

There are many, many more verses that have the "blessed is..." phrase in them. Do a word search or concordance study to find even more.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

There's nothing better than cookie dough. Unless it's chocolate chip cookie dough.

Or chocolate chip cookie dough dip.

This is an incredibly rich, incredibly thick dip that is best served at room temperature. The cooler it is, the thicker and harder it is. So let it warm up a little before you try to dip.

I also recommend you put some of this in a bowl and put the rest in the fridge. If you don't, you'll end up eating the whole thing and you won't even realize it.

You've been warned.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved and it starts to simmer. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

2. Cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add in the brown sugar and butter mixture.

3. Add chocolate chips. Refrigerate for about an hour. Then let it warm back up to room temperature before serving with animal crackers, graham crackers or anything else you want to make taste amazing.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Way The World Isn't

I read a quote the other day that was to be an encouragement to entrepreneurs: Don't see the world as it is, but as it isn't.

Without vision and without a mental picture of how things could be, nothing would ever change.

There would be no creativity, no art, no science, no experimentation. We would be exactly the same as we were yesterday.

Where's the excitement in that?

For we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is in God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:12

The spirit of the world says live for yourself. The spirit of God says live for the Lord.

The spirit of the world says do what makes you feel good. The spirit of God says do what pleases Him.

The spirit of the world says do whatever you have to do to reach the top. The spirit of God says to prefer others over yourself.

So if we decide to see the world as it could be, what would we see?

What would happen if we sent someone an encouraging card full of Scripture instead of patting them on the shoulder and hoping for the best?

What would happen if we stood up to the bullies of the world who put other people down to make themselves feel better?

What would happen if we used our time, money and talents exclusively to glorify God and His kingdom?

These are things created by the spirit of God, not of the world. Many of the people around us are so focused on themselves that they're not open to change or improvement. They're managing to get along just fine this way - why look at what's not happening in the world around them.

The power through God that Christians have to change the world is staggering - but we have to use it. We have to pray, take the steps necessary to enact the change and then step out of the way so God have full control - and then full glory.

Picture the way the world isn't and that will show you exactly where you're needed. We are each part of the body of Christ, each with our own gifts and strengths. God is working in our lives to make us the perfect tool for Him in the situations that arise in our daily lives.

So when you look at the world, do you see what is or are you looking for the way the world isn't?