Thursday, January 29, 2015

Apple Honey Pork Tenderloin

Living in southern Iowa, we're so spoiled by the quality and variety of pork we can get here. The grocery stores have some really great sales, too, making amazing cuts of meats a good deal.

Recently I got a 10-pound pork tenderloin at less than half price. I brought it home, cut it in half and froze one piece.

The other half went straight into the slow cooker!

Three other ingredients and we had meals for several days.

Here's what I did:

Cut several slits in the fat side of the tenderloin.

Slice an apple and slide one slice into each slit.

Heavily sprinkle the whole loin with brown sugar.

Drizzle everything with honey.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours. You don't need any liquids because it will create its own juices. The apple slices will caramelize and melt down into the tenderloin, making it all sweet and tender.

Take it out and shred the meat. Serve with a side of veggies and some fruit.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Sketch

Here's a sketch that lets you have fun with fibers!

A strip across the middle of the card is balanced by a trio of fibers on the side. One might be enough for your card, or you might want more, depending on how thick they are.

The image on the middle strip can be a phrase, a picture or just a design that you really like. The width of the strip will be dependent on this image, so choose wisely.

Also, play around with your backgrounds. Mix patterns and solids, or use the same pattern in different colors.

For my card, I chose three different patterns from a collection of papers already coordinated. That made mixing them easy — yeah, I'm lazy that way.

I used two chalkboard-themed images for my designs, each printed on card stock. The fibers are twine — I wish I had used something a little thinner, though, because the paper buckled a little at the top where I folded it over. Next time!

Many other cards, paper crafts and wood gifts can be found in our Etsy shop. Come visit Stuff From Trees and find many different ways to share your faith.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Weekend Of Following

Winter is the best time of year to see what's living in the woods around the property. It's not because they're out and about — it's because you can see their tracks in the snow!

Even from the house you can trace the paths the coyotes and the turkey and the deer took from one place to another. They follow each other up the ridge, around the ponds and across the levee to their dens and browse and homes.

It also means that the animals can track their prey better, too. They can follow the tracks and hunt down food quickly because they're so visible. They may have great eyesight, but following a trail makes finding lunch a little easier.

What tracks are you following?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entirety not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5

Make this a weekend of following — following the Shepherd. It's easy to follow whatever pretty, new thing comes along. Faith is following the voice we know and love and long to follow. We know His voice and we know He will lead, guide and protect us along the way.

Who are you following?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quick Three-Ingredient Chili

On those cold, wintry, blustery Iowa nights, there is nothing better than a bowl of hot, steamy chili. Here's a recipe that will let you clean out your pantry and make a tasty meal.

Please remember that this is a three-ingredient recipe. You may add all kinds of other things to your favorite version, but this one is a back-to-the-basics starter chili.

And you'll probably find two or three of the ingredients on hand already. Talk about saving you money at the grocery store!

This recipe will easily serve two people, so increase the amounts exponentially as necessary. I let it simmer for about an hour after all the ingredients were added and the flavors melded together perfectly.

1 pound ground beef
1 can red beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis

1. Brown the ground beef in the bottom of a medium-sized pot.

2. Add in the drained beans and the tomatoes.

3. Lower the heat and simmer for as long as you'd like.

4. Serve with your favorite toppings and crackers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Altered Notebook Prayer Journal With Denim Pocket

I've wanted to do this project for ages. I found the perfect pair of girls' jeans at Goodwill and had the notebook on the shelf for weeks.

And that's where they stayed.

That's no fun, is it? So I sat down last week and had a great time putting this prayer journal together.

I started by carefully cutting the pocket off the pants with sharp scissors. The backing is still on it so there's an actual denim pocket, not just the look of one.
After layering the paper and inking the edges, I attached the pocket with hot glue. It took a good amount to keep it on, but not so much that it would overrun the edges or get the paper wet and messy.

There's a fine line with hot glue.

So now this prayer journal has a special pocket on the front for pens, pencils, erasers, photos or anything else you'd like to tuck away.

And I still have the other pocket to play with!

You can find this prayer journal, along with many other cards, paper crafts and wood gifts in our Etsy shop. Click here to visit and see all the new items we've added!