Monday, August 24, 2015

"Be Still and Know" New CD by Amy Grant -- Product Review #FCBlogger

This post is sponsored by Family Christian. All opinions are honest and my own.  #FCBlogger   

Amy Grant's new CD, "Be Still and Know", is amazing and beautiful. It includes a few old hymns that she did years ago, plus several new ones.
In my childhood, I was introduced to Amy Grant's CD, Legacy...Hymns and Faith, and I fell in love with it. It led me to my favorite hymn, "How Great Thou Art."
I then received this new CD.
A couple of these songs I have heard before, such as, "This is My Father's World", and "Softly and Tenderly".
I recently wanted to get new music, and was excited when this CD came in the mail.
I would have to say that my favorite song on here would be, "Be Still and Know".
She has a couple of new recordings of older hymns she did, "Power in the Blood", and "Be Still and Know".
I am excited to share this CD with my siblings, who enjoy hymns as much as I do.
I like to listen to hymns when I am writing or drawing, just to give me time for myself, enjoying God's presence. What better way to listen to music, than with Amy Grant's CD, "Be Still and Know"!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Historical Foods in America Swedish: 1854 (American Girl Kirsten

(I modified these recipes that are from Kirsten's Cook Book)

Favorite Foods

                                                            Potato Soup

Ingredients                                                                                               12 servings

3 slices of bacon
1 small onion
6 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
Cold water
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Put 2 layers of paper towels onto the counter next to the stove. Seperate the bacon strips and plave them side by side in the skillet. Turn on the heat to medium high. Cook the bacon slices until the edges start to curl. Use a fork to turn each slice to the other side. Continue cooking, turning the slices frequently. When the bacon is golden brown and crisp, lift it out of the skillet and put it onto the paper towels to cool.

2. Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces. Peel the potatos. Cut each potato into 4 pieces. Put the potatos, onion pieces, and salt into the saucepan. Put in just enough cold water to cover them. Turn the heat to medium high until the water begins to water. Turn down the heat. Cover the pan andlet the onions and potatos simmer, for about 20 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the potatoes easily.

3.  Turn off the burner. Leave the cooking water in the pan. Use the potato masher to mash the potatoes and onion. Turn the burner back on medium-high heat. Add the milk slowly while you stir. When the soup begins to simmer, addthe butter and pepper. Crumble the bacon into the soup. Keep stirring the soup while it simmers until it is smooth and hot.

                                                        Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients                                                                                                     6 servings

2 slices of bread
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
Small onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground ginger, nutmeg, and pepper
2 tablespooons oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup cold water

1. Cut the bread into small cubes. Combine the cream and milk in a small mixing bowl. Measure 1 1/2 cups of bread cubes into the liquid and let them soak for 5 minutes. Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion pieces and cook them until they are clear and tender.

2. Mix the ground beef and pork together in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon or use your hands. Add the egg, cooked onions, soaked bread crumbs, and salt to the meat mixture. Then add a dash of ginger, nutmeg, and pepper. Mix well. Stir the meat mixture quickly with the wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy.

3. Shape the mixture intoballs about 2 inches in diameter. Measure 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet. Fry a few meatballs at a time in the oil over medium heat. Roll the meatballs on all sides until they are brown on the outside. Take the meatballs out the skillet. Put them onto a plate lined with paper towels. When all the meatballs are browned and out of the skillet, make a gravy by slowly stirring a tablespoon of flour into the meat fat left in the pan. Then add the cup of cold water and stir over medium heat until the gravy is thick. Put all the meatballs back into the gravy. Cover the skillet and lower the heat. Cook the meatballs for 30 minutes. Stir the gravy over the meatballs once or twice while they cook.

                                                           Fresh Applesauce

Ingredients                                                                                               6 servings

8 apples (Granny Smiths work well)
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Wash the apples under cold water at the sink. Cut the apples into 4 sections. Cut the core from each piece. Then cut away the skin from each piece. Measure 1 cup of cold water and pour it into the saucepan. Add the apple pieces to the saucepan. Turn the burner to medium high. When the water boils, turn down the heat to medium low. The apples will be simmering. Cover the pan halfway with the lid. Lower the heat again if the apples begin to boil.

2. Use a wooden spoon to stir the apples every so often to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Simmer the applesfor about 40 minutes, until the apples are very tender. Then turn off the heat. Use a potato masher to mash the apples into a smooth, thick sauce. Stir in the cinnamon.

                                                          Swedish Pancakes

Ingredients                                                                                               6 servings

6 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon oil
Powdered sugar (opitional)

1. Melt the butter in the skillet. Turn off the heat. Crack the eggs into the mixing bowl. Use a wire whisk to beat the eggs together. Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the eggs and use the wire whisk to beat the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the flour to the egg mixture all at once, and use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture until it is smooth. Beat in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk. Then add the melted butter, salt, and cinnamon.

2. Add the oil to the skillet. Heat up the skillet until it is very hot. Drop about a tablespoon of the thin batter into the skillet for each pancake. After about 1 minute, the edges of the pancake will brown lightly. turn the pancack. Cook the other side for another minute. Swedish pancakes should be eaten right away. Put them onto plates. Scoop a little jam onto the pancakes and roll them up. You can also sprinkle powdered sugar on top if you want.

                                                            Saint Lucia Buns

Ingredients                                                                                                  6 buns

1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
24 raisins

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Cut the butter into small pieces. Add the butter pieces to the warm milk and stir. Then turn off the heat. Measure the lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Stir well. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes. Add the warm milk and melted butter to the yeast. Stir in the sugar, egg, salt, and saffron. Then add 1 1/2 cups flour and stir until smooth.

2. Add enough of the remaining flour so that you can shape the dough into a ball. Save some of the remaining flour for kneading the dough. Put the dough on a floured cutting board. Dust your hands with flour an knead the dough. Add flour when the dough is sticky. After 5 to 10 minutes of kneading, you will have a smooth ball of dough.

3. Cover the dough with the towel and let it rest. Spread cooking oil in the large bowl. Roll the dough in the oil until it is coated. Cover the bowl with the towel and set it in a warm place to rise. After 45 minutes, the dough should be twice as large. If not, check it again in 15 minutes. Punch the dough. Then divide it into 6 sections.

4. Take 1 section and divide it in half. Roll each half into an 8-inch rope. Cross the 2 ropes in the middle. Then coil the ends in tight circles. shape 5 more buns in the same way. Place the buns 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Cover with a towel. Let the buns rest for 30 to 45 minutes until they double in size. Preheat the oven to 350 while they are rising. 

5. Mix the egg and water with a fork in a small bowl. Brush this mixture lightly over the top of each bun. Decorate the buns with raisins. Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes. When the buns are golden brown, move them to a wire rack to cool.

                                                         Pepparkakor Cookies

Ingredients                                                                                                      3 dozen

1 cup butter
3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
2  tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
Extra flour for rolling out dough

1. Soften the butter by letting it sit at room temperature for an hour before you begin. Put the sifter into a medium mixing bowl. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into the sifter. Then sift them into the bowl. Set the bowl aside. Put the sugar and softened butter into a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to press them against the side of the large mixing bowl, and then stir.

2. Add the egg, maple syrup, and water to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Stir the dry ingredients into the mixture 1 cup at a time. Mix well after each cup. Cover the bowl with a plate, and chill the dough in the refrigerator, for at least an hour to make to dough eaier to roll and handle. Preheat the oven to 350. Have ungreased cookie sheets ready to use.

3. Sprinkle flour onto a table or counter and spread it around evenly with your hands. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Flatten the first ball and roll it from the  center to the edges. Try to make the whole piece about 1/8 inch thick. Use cokkie cutters to cut out shapes that are about the size. Put the cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

4. Spread sheets of wax paper on a counter or table. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned on the bottom. Watch the cookies carefully. They burn easily. Put the cookies onto the wax paper to cool.

Historical Foods in America Swedish: 1854 (American Girl Kirsten)

( I modified these recipes that are from Kirsten's Cook Book.)


                                                         Baked Ham Slice

Ingredients                                                                                            4 to 6 servings

Smoked ham slice, fully cooked, 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 325. trim away the fat from the outside edge of the ham slice. Place the ham slice into the ungreased baking dish. Mix the brown sugar, ginger, and pepper together in the small bowl. 

2. Sprinkle all the sugar and spices evenly over the top of the ham slice. Bake the ham slice uncovered on the middle rack in the oven for 30 minutes.

                                                              Swedish Potatoes

Ingredients                                                                                               6 servings

1. Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces. Set the onion aside. Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes on the cutting board. Melt the shortening in the large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add the potatoes and onion. Cook them over medium heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and stir a few times. Stir while you add the cream a little at a time. When the liquid bubbles, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

                                                           Cabbage and Apple Salad

Ingredients                                                                                                6 servings

1/2 head, cabbage, medium size
2 apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup honey

1. Cut and coarsely shred the cabbage. Then put the cabbage into a large bowl. Cut each apple into 4 pieces and remove the apple cores. Use the grater to coarsely shred the apples into thelarge bowl. Add the raisins to the  bowl. Use a large spoon and fork to toss the cabbage, apples, and raisins.

2. Continue doing this until the ingredients are mixed together. Combine the cream and honey in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the salad and tossit lightly.

                                                                   Fruit Soup

Ingredients                                                                                             6 servings

8 ounces mixed dried fruit
4 cups cold water
1/2 raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1 tabelspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

1. Cut the fruit into small pieces and place them into the saucepan. Add the cold water and soak for 1 to 2 hours. Add the raisins and cinnamon stick to the fruit. Cook the mixture over medium heat until it boils. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir often so thefruit doesn't stick to the pan.

2. Ladle the hot fruit into a serving bowl. Leave the juice in the pan. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water. Stir this mixture into the juice in the saucepan. Heat up the juice until it boils, stirring constantly. When the juice is as thick as honey, pour it over the fruit and stir.

                                                      Swedish Almond Rusks

(I usually make these as normal bread, and put it into the oven after the dough is made. I don't add the cardamom, or almonds, instead, I add 1 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla)

Ingredients                                                                                                        36 rusks

1 cup shortening (I use butter)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk ( I use normal milk)
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup chopped almonds
Cooking oil

1. Beat the shortening and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until they are creamy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them with a fork. Add the beaten eggs and the buttermilk to the shortening and sugar mixture. Stir well. Put the sifter into another large mixing bowl. Measure the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom into the sifter. Then sift them into the bowl. Mix in the chopped almonds.

2. Add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture. Mix well after each addition. Preheat the oven to 350. Use cokking oil to grease the loaf pans. Spoon the batter into the loaf pans until they are about half full. Bake the bread on the middle oven rack for 30 to 40 minutes. The bread is done if a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the toothpick comes out with dough  on it, bake the bread a little longer. Check it every 5 minutes.

3. Turn the oven down to 200. Use a knife to loosen each loaf from the sides of the pan. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes. Cut each loaf into 12 slices. Move each slice to a cookie sheet after you slice it. Put the cookie sheets into the oven, and bake for 1 to 3 minutes, checking each minute until they are dry and toasty brown. Turn over each slice. Continue baking until the second side is toasty brown.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tolkien's characters from A to Z (The Language of Tolkien's Middle-earth, by Ruth S. Noel)

 Balan = Original name of Beor, founder of the eldest House of Men
Baragund = A companion of Barahir
Barahir = (Towerlord). Father of Beren
Barahir = (Towerlord). A grandson of Faramir of Gondor
Baran = (Golden Brown). A son of Beor the Old.
Baranor (Sun-home). The father of Beregond of Minas Tirith.
Bauglir = 'The Constrainer'. A name of Morgoth.
Belecthor I = (Mighty Torrent). The fifteenth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Beleg = 'Mighty'. The archer known as Cuthalion.
Beleg = 'Mighty'. The second King of Arthedain.
Belegorn = (Mighty Tree). The fourth Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Belegund = A companion of Barahir.
Belegur = 'He Who Arises in Might'. form of the name Melkor or Morgoth. Only used in the form Belegurth.
Beor = 'Vassal'. (of Finrod). Founder of the eldest House of Men.
Bereg = Great-grandson of Beor.
Beregond = A gaurd at Minas Tirith
Beren = The mortal hero who wedded Luthian Tinuviel and with her aid recovered a Silmaril
Bergil = The young son of beregond at Minas Tirith
Beruthiel = (Daughter of the Queen). A queen in an adage
Bladorthin = An ancient king with whom the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain traded.
Bolg = an Orc-king of the Misty Mountains
Bor = A chieftain of the Easterlings.
Borlach = (Flaming Hand). A son of Bor of the Easterlings.
Borlad = (Plain of the Hand). A son of Bor of the Easterlings.
Boromir = (Jeweled Hand). The great-grandfather of Beren.
Boromir = (Jeweled Hand). The eleventh Ruling Steward of Gondor.
Boromir = (jeweled Hand). One of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Boron = (Great Hand). The great-great-grandfather of Beren.
Borthand = A son of Bor of the Easterlings.
Brandir = A ruler of the People of Haleth.
Bregalad = Quickbeam, the rowan-ent.
Bregolas = A man.
Bregor = A man, father of Barahir and Bregolas.
Brodda = An Easterling.

Historical Foods in America :Swedish: 1854 (American Girl Kirsten)

( I modified these recipes from Kirsten's Cook Book.)                                                                           

                                                             Pork Sausage Patties


1 1/2 pounds lean ground pork
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger

1. Put the pork into a mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, allspice, cloves, and ginger. Stir the ingredients well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions on a clean countertop. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten it to make a patty.

2. Place the skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange 6 sausage patties in the skillet. Let them cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Turn the patties and cook for 4 minutes more. Both sides should be golden brown. Put the cooked patties on an ovenproof plate and cover it with foil. Put the plate in a warm (200) oven. Remove any extra grease from the skillet and cook the remaining 6 patties in the same way in steps 3 through 5.

                                                             Swedish Rice Porridge 
                                                (or Skansk grot  SKONE-sk groot.)


1 large, firm apple
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup white rice
1 cup water
3-inch cinnamon stick
4 cups milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cut the apple into 4 sections. Cut away the core and peel the skin from the apple. Chop the apple into small pieces and set the apple aside. Use your fingers to rub butter over the bottom of a saucepan. The butter will keep the rice from sticking while it cooks. 

2. Put the rice, water, and cinnamon stick into the saucepan. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat until the mixture simmers. Cover the pan and simmer the rice 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

3. Pour the milk into the saucepan. Turn up the heat and stir until it begins to simmer. When the milk begins to simmer, turn down the heat to low. Carefully add the brown sugar, chopped apple,  and raisins. Stir gently. Cover the pan and allow the porridge to simmer to simmer for about 45 minutes. As it cooks, it will thicken. Stir it once or twice as it cooks.

4. Turn off the heat and take the pan from the stove. Remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the vanilla. If you make the porridge ahead of time, store it in the refrigerator and warm up again when you want to eat. Add cream and honey is desired.

                                                              Round Rye Bread


3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon salt
 1 cup white flour
3 cups rye flour
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
Extra oil and rye flour
Extra butter

1. Put the milk into the saucepan and begin to warm it over low heat. As the milk warms, cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the milk. stir to help the butter melt. Then turn off the heat. Measure the lukewarm water into the mixing bowl. sprinkle the yeast over the water. Stir well. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes.

2. Add the milk and melted butter to the yeast mixture. stir in the brown sugar, fennel, and salt. Add the white flour, and stir to mix the ingredients. Gradually mix in 2 cups of the rye flour. The dough will be very stiff and sticky. Add enough of the remaining rye flour so that you can shape the dough into a ball. Do not add all the remaining flour. You'll need some for step 3.

3. Cover the mixing bowl with a towel and letthe douh rest in a warm spot for 10 or 15 minutes. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on the counter that has been sprinkled with some of the remaining flour. Knead the dough. after 5 to 10 minutes of kneading, you will have a smooth ball of dough.  Coat the inside of the bowel with oil. Put the dough into the bowl. Roll it around until it is completly coated with oil to keep it from drying out and cracking as it rises. 

4. Cover the bowl with the towel and set it in a warm, draft-free place to rise. After about 45 minutes, check the dough. It should be twice as big as it was before rising. If your dough hasn't doubled innsize after 45 minutes, give it more time. Check it again every 15 minutes.  Punch the dough in the bowl once or twice to remove the air. Then knead it a few times.  shape the dough into a round loaf about 7 inches across. This is a traditional Swedish shape for bread. Place it on the cookie sheet, cover it with a towel, and let it rise again for 45 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 375. Pierece the top of the loaf with a fork to keep it from cracking as it bakes. Make a deeper hole in the center. Place the cookie sheet on the middle rake of the oven. Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes. when the top is brown, tap the top of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is done. Whike the loaf is still warm-but not too hot-rub the top with butter. After 2 to 3 hours, the bread will be cool enough to serve.

                                                            Homemade Butter


2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
Pinh of salt

(You will need a 2-quart jar with tight lid, and a 1 marble)

1. chill the jar and the marble in the refrigerator for atleast 1 hour to help the butter form more quickly. Place the strainer over the bowl. Set them aside. Pour the cream into the jar, drop in the marble, and fasten the lid tightly.

2. shake the jar. at first, you will hear the marble moving. After 15 minutes, the cream will get so thick that you won't hear or feel the marble. The sides of the jar will be coated with thick cream. Continue shaking the jar. After another 15 to 30 minutes, butter will begin to form. First you will hear the marble moving again. Then the coating of cream will disappear from the sides of the jar and you will see lumps of butter in a milky liquid. The liquid is buttermilk.

3. Open the jar and pour the butter and the buttermilk into the strainer. The buttermilk will flow into the bowl, and the butter will stay in the strainer. Pour the buttermilk from the bowl into a covered container and store it. Turn the butter out of the strainer and into the bowl. Cover the butter with cold water, and then pour the water off through the strainer.

4. Keep washing the butter in this way until the water you pour off is clear. Use a wooden spoon to stir and press the butter against the side of the bowl. Continue pressing the butter against the side of the bowl to work out any liquid that is left in the butter. If you like your butter slightly salted, add a pinch of salt and stir it in. Press the butter into a dish or a butter mold. Chill it in the refrigerator for an hour bedore you serve it.

                                                            Ginger Cookies


6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soft shortening
1 1/2 cups dark molasses
2/3 cups cold water
shortening to grease baking sheets
Extra flour for rolling out dough

                                                                                                                       2 1/2 dozen

1. Put the flour sifter into a large mixing bowl. Measure the flour, baking soda, salt,allspice, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon into the sifter. Then sift them into the bowl. Set the bowl aside. 
Measure the brown sugar by packing it tightly into the measuring cup. Put it into the another large mixing bowl. Add the shortening to the brown sugar. Use a wooden spoon to press the brown sugar and shortening together against the side of the bowl. Then stir quickly until the mixture is creamy.

2. Add  the molasses and water. stir to mix well. Add the sifted ingrediants 1 cup at a time. Mix well after each addition. Keep mixin until all of the dry ingrediants are mixed in. Cover the bowl with a large plate. chill the dough for 1 hour to make it easier to handle. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease the cookie sheets with shortening. Sprinkle some flour onto a table or counter and cover the rolling pin with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Use more flour if you need it.

3. Divide the dough into four sections. Roll out the first section from the center of the dough to the edges. Try to keep the whole piece 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles with the cookie cutter. Lift the cookies onto a cookie sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between cookies, because they get big puffy as they bake. Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes. Touch the cookies lightly. If touching leaves no imprint, the cookies are done.