Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a treat for Easter

On the outside you see a strawberry that's been sliced in half, but put back together and held in place with two toothpicks that form a cross. The strawberry is dipped in white chocolate. What you don't see is the chocolate chip that has been sandwiched between the two strawberry halves. :)

When I taught Sunday School last spring, I had prayed about a way to share the amazing love and sacrifice of God through Jesus with the children in a way that was memorable, fun, and mostly healthy. I created a booklet for the kids to share with their parents as well which explains the story behind each of the ingredients...please email me at hungerandthirst@live.com if you'd like a copy - it didn't look like I could add it as an attachment to this post.

Here's how to make the treat and what each ingredient represents:
chocolate chip: represents sin
strawberry: represents Jesus's blood. Slice each strawberry in half. Place one chocolate chip in between two berry halves to symbolize how Christ's blood covers our sin.
toothpicks: use two toothpicks per berry/chocolate chip combo to stick the berry pieces together. Insert them so they will look like a cross to remind us of how Jesus' suffered and died for us
white chocolate: dip the assembled treat in white chocolate to remind us that not only does God remove our sins, but He makes us clean again.

Note: most white chocolate contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. If you like to avoid this, I found that Lindt makes a white chocolate/coconut bar that is very yummy.

Enjoy! This may even be a fun way of sharing Jesus' story with those who don't know Him yet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

minnestrone soup

Here's another recipe I love to make. This is a wonderful recipe and a slight departure from the typical minestrone which often contains pasta. Minestrone means "big soup" and this makes a lot! Plan about 40 minutes to chop all the veggies and put together the soup - it's worth it!

For a family of four can get 2-3 meals from this depending on portion size. It freezes well so you can always have some on hand.

2 T olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. coarsely chopped carrots
4 stalks coarsely chopped celery
2 c. chopped tomatoes
4 1/2 c. water
2 small zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 c. green beans in 1-inch lengths
2 medium potatoes cubed
3 c. coarsely chopped spinach
2 c. small white beans
1 T sea salt (more to taste if needed)
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
2 tsp dried rosemary

Optional: rind of parmesan or romano cheese or few tablespoon grated

In stockpot, heat oil and add the onion, carrots and celery. Saute until soft. Add tomatoes and cook a few more minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil then simmer about one hour. Taste for seasonings and add additional if desired. Great with fresh bread.

black bean dip recipe

Super Yummy Black Bean Dip (or use as filling for fajitas, taco salad, tacos)
3 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
3 c black beans
3/4 c salsa
shredded cheese
sea salt, to taste (start with a 1/2 tsp and gradually add more til you think it tastes good. I think I add about 1 tsp but can't remember for sure)
pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add in cumin, beans, salt, pepper and salsa and cook until heated through. You can mash the beans as much or as little as you like. I usually keep this a little more chunky. Top with cheese.