Friday, November 23, 2012



My husband has wanted some coconut oil for cooking some time now. Being notorious for making lists and then leaving them at home when I grocery shop is a part of who I am. That quality is in my DNA. So, I kept forgetting all about a little item called coconut oil. Not on purpose mind you, but I didn’t make a special trip and rush out to buy any either.  Fact is I’m also known for HATING coconut. The best and only possible use for the smelly stuff is for moisturizing my face. Wouldn’t you know I ran out of my personal stash of coconut oil. I hate to admit that virgin coconut oil is the best product I’ve ever used on my face! Yes, I’m not a fan of how coconut feels on my tongue. Nor do I like this fruit’s peculiar taste or smell in spite of the wonderful results I’ve noticed when using this as a moisturizer.

But anyway let’s get back to the topic of my confession about coconut. though I definitely do not tolerate eating this fruit and I’ve avoided it all my life. Not even candy bars with coconut ever tempt me. I tell you the truth.

Once I purchased his coconut oil he came up with the bright idea of making coconut shrimp. What a way to ruin shrimp, one of my favorite meals. He was bound and determined to widen my scope of experience with coconut. He promised that I would like his coconut recipe. I must admire the fact and I’ll always be grateful that he did make some plain non-coconut pieces for me. Sort of plain that is. We started out making beer batter and also added cayenne powder (shush this is the secret – one whole tablespoon full) to about a half cup of flour. After washing and dipping the shrimp in both the flower mixture and beer batter then to my dismay at least half of the shrimp were coated with white fluffy…you got it…coconut slivers. Ugh!

Cal lifted the coconut fried and coated with slivers and positioned it so that I could take a bite. I did so to appease him, expecting the worse. Delicious, I was quite surprised. Who would have thought that there would be any way anyone could disguise such a distinct flavor! My confession  is that I never thought I could ever tolerate anything tasting of coconut and here I actually liked it! Wonders never cease!! If you’re a coconut hater…maybe you could give this a try also.





Saturday, November 10, 2012

Traveling With Thankfulness
© Susan Marlene Kinney
November 10, 2012

Enter His gates with thanksgiving. And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name.
Psalms 100:4

Step spritely into the new day dawning. Bumpy country roads, sleek highways, valleys, and mountains topped with snowcaps await your awe.  How Father God delighted in creating every crevice and sculptured rock formation, as well as hot sandy deserts, brush stroked with copious color schemes reflecting off each unique terrain.
Oceans surge with power and life, reflecting it’s mood with each twist and turn of the weather or spin of the moon. Such stunning sights take our breath away, cause us to stand on tip toe and gasp at the immense sheer wonder of His creation. The measure of our fascination and appreciation cannot comprehend His colossal thrill over…our smile…
His ecstasy  is not dampened by our limitations for God is JOY, LOVE, and PEACE in the extreme! He experiences the highest, most delightful, undiluted, and uncontaminated thrills over our praise and attention.
We offer so little. He bestow so much. Audaciously allow yourself to nearly burst with heart pounding gratitude for all He has done. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light (for the fruit of light consists in goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Ephesians 5:10
Do enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His name. Sure we cannot imagine the thrill He experiences, but isn’t it wonderful to



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Grand Version of Borscht

The cookbook Splendid Soups by James Peterson was the inspiration for this recipe. I’ve changed several items to suit our taste and because I didn’t have it at home and didn’t want to make a road trip. So here goes on a winning recipe.
James had a nice write up about the recipe after each title. It would be a very nice Christmas or Birthday gift.

2  1 pound smoked ham hocks. (I didn’t have this.)
3 pound beef brisket or chuck 1 or 2 large chunks (I cut mine in small pieces and used chuck)
3 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of rind and excess fat, in 2 or 3 large chunks.
                                                                           (I cut mine in small pieces.)
2 ½ quarts of beef broth or water (I used 7 cans of Campbells Beef Broth, 1 can Campbells Beefy
                                                                            Mushroom Soup plus 2 cups of water.)
1 bouquet garni, including 3 marjoram sprigs if available
1 1/3 pounds fresh or 2 10-ounce can whole beets drained. (I didn’t use these since I deemed the recipe sweet enough.  ( I didn’t use beets.)
1 small head of cabbage
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 leeks finely chopped
1 Cup white wine vinegar
Salt  & pepper
You may garnish with sour cream and finely chopped fresh dill. ( I didn’t have the dill.)
Use a large pot to heat the beef broth and water on high. Add bite size pieces of meat and bouquet garni. When it approaches a boil turn down to a slow simmer for 3 hours.  Skim off any froth or fat that floats to the surface.

Peel off and discard the tough outer cabbage leaves. Cut into short slivers. Add chopped onion, leeks, cooked beets if you want to, and cabbage to soup and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in wine vinegar and season to taste.