Christianity Family Home Schooling

The Dying to Self Series

stretchingA situation with a dear loved one had me reviewing my blog for the series of posts I did on “Dying to Self”. I thought I’d repost the links for them here, in case anyone else is wanting a refresher.

Here’s a quote from my first one titled, Exploring Dying to Self:

“The path toward humility is death to self. When self is dead, humility has been perfected. Jesus humbled Himself unto death, and by His example the way is opened for us to follow. A dead man or woman does not react to an offense. The truth is, if we become offended by the words of others, then death to self has not been finished. When we humble ourselves despite injustice and there is perfect peace of heart, then death to self is complete. Death is the seed, while humility is the ripened fruit.” Alice Smith

In another one, Dying to Self in Marriage, I share a list of ways we all feel entitled. Taken from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book Lies Women Believe:

“Today it is assumed that,

  • you have a right to be happy
  • you have a right to be understood
  • you have a right to be loved
  • you have a right to a certain standard of living, to an equitable wage, and to decent benefits
  • you have a right to a good marriage
  • you have a right to companionship and romance
  • you have a right to be treated with respect in the workplace
  • you have a right to be valued by your husband and appreciated by your children
  • you have a right to a good night’s sleep
  • you have a right to have your husband pitch in with the household chores

And most important, if any of your rights are violated, you have the right to protest. You have a right to be angry. You have a right to be depressed. You have a right to take action. You have a right to insist on your rights!”

Lies, indeed. No freedom there.

In The Sting of Dying to Self, we are reminded at what great cost our sins and selfishnesses are to our relationships, and that it all adds up to DENYING God by our DEEDS, even when we profess Him from our lips…we see how important denying SELF is. It helps us proclaim Christ.

Titus 1:15-16,

“To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God but by their deeds they deny Him…”

In Are You Willing? we see through the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah 50:4-9 how the process works:

It’s a process. If you start applying it at the beginning (vs 4) by committing to reading God’s word, and from His word/prayer learning His will for your life (vs 5), practicing being obedient (vs 5 and 6), getting in the habit of bucking this world system in favor of doing right (vs 7), coming back to God to fill you up because suffering is part of Christianity (vs 8 ), and getting to the point that this process is second nature. All your priorities fall in line because of your continual desire to put God and His ways first (vs 9).

And finally, in Grace for the Weary, we see more Messianic prophecies, like this from Isaiah 42:3 and more,

“A bruised reed He (God the Son) will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.” Isaiah 42:3 (parentheses mine)

Have you ever felt like a dimly burning wick? This post takes the topic of callings, in particular, our family’s calling to homeschool. But I think it applies to whatever your particular “burn out” may be. Get your vision back and go for it!

Be sure to check out these older blog posts for the great scriptures alone. There’s a wealth of encouragement there for every problem known unto man.

Would love to hear your thoughts on dying to self. :O)

Cooking and Food

Chili Rellenos, Green Chili Stew & Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas!

Mama Squirrel here! Yeah, that’d be me, Mary, feeling good and stocked up after toting over 130 home-canned jars of garden produce down to the basement for winter. I started out with it all in two really large kitchen cupboards but hubby’s comments about “all that weight and crashing cabinets full of all your hard work”–well, needless to say, horrors, perish the thought! They are now happily residing on shelves next to all the potatoes and onions we harvested earlier this summer.

This was a great year for pepper plants, and piles of large green chili peppers and the red “Big Jim’s” that Farmer John’s crew saved from first frosts last night have been made available 10 lbs for $10. I’m in! You might want to check your local farmer’s markets or CSA farms and get in on the end-of-season bounty as well!

Roasting Chili Peppers

Been doing some research on how to roast these beauties, because apparently, roasted chili peppers taste de-lish in about everything from sandwiches, pizzas, omelets, and pasta dishes to serving them chopped up in mayonnaise and hummus! After roasting, you can either store them in the fridge submerged in olive oil or freeze them. Today’s recipes call for roasted, peeled chili peppers, so be sure to make note of that.

This site has a wonderful tutorial explaining how to roast chili peppers in the oven or outdoors on the grill! You can even roast them directly on your gas burner flame…if you are so brave!

I debated about grilling ours outdoors, but it’s 35 degrees out there currently–and I’m not wanting to brave the wind! Here’s how I’m going to roast my peppers for freezing.

  1. Turn your broiler on and put the chilies in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet.
  2. Let the chilies blister, turn them and blister all sides equally and remove from the broiler.
  3. Cover the tray and chilies with a damp dish towel for 15 minutes. The moisture and coolness will cause the skin to separate further making it easy to peel.
  4. Put several at a time in labeled freezer bags and add 1 TB water. Freeze! May also dice and freeze to save time later in recipes like the Green Chili Stew below…

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

  • 2 cups chopped (about 10) long green chilies or Big Jim’s, roasted and skinned, with stems and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chopped, grilled chicken breasts (canned chicken is fine to use also)
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
  • 26 oz can (family size) cream of chicken soup mixed with can of milk
  • 15 white corn tortillas, cut or torn in fourths
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pour cream of chicken soup mixture into a large stockpot and add green chilies, chicken, and spices. Mix and stir over medium-high heat, bringing to a boil just so it all mixes well together.

In the bottom of a 9×13″ pan, spread enough of sauce to keep enchiladas from sticking, not much. Tear the tortillas into fourths and layer 1/3 of them in bottom of baking dish. Layer a bit more sauce on tortillas, then 1 cup or more of shredded cheese, evenly distributing. Next layer up is a little scant saving the majority to dump on top in the last layer. So this scant layer is more tortillas, more sauce, onions (note that this is the only layer to get onions, feel free to add more onions if you *really* like onions!), cheese and then one more layer of tortillas, sauce and cheese.

Bake covered at 350F for 20 minutes, then uncover and let bake another 20-25 minutes till the edges are lightly browned and beginning to peel away from edge.

This recipe is said to be even better the next day as leftovers, after all the spices meld together–Mmm!

Green Chilies Rellenos

  • 6 long green chili peppers, or Big Jim’s–roasted, thawed, peeled but intact with stems and seeds
  • 6 rectangular strips of cheese the length of the pepper–white, cheddar or Monterrey Jack
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TB flour
  1. Take your chili peppers and make a small slit about a half inch below the stem through which to slide your strip of cheese. Some people slit their peppers all the way down from the top to within a 1/2 inch of the tip, and remove all the seeds carefully by scraping them out with their finger or a small spoon. (Wear plastic gloves or coat your hands in vegetable oil because you won’t realize you’ve been burning your skin on the seeds until some time has passed). It’s not necessary to remove the seeds, however, if you do decide to slit the entire side of the chili, then secure it with toothpicks as necessary to hold it together, and don’t forget to tell your guests to be watchful while eating!
  2. Make your batter. Beat the 4 separated egg whites till stiff. In a separate bowl stir up your egg yolks, and add 1/2 tsp salt to the yolks and mix it in. THEN pour the yolk mixture into the egg white mixture but BEFORE folding them together, sprinkle the 1 TB flour across the top and THEN fold together. Got it? ;O)
  3. You are ready to begin frying, so have about 1/2 inch of hot oil ready to go in a nice sized skillet. Dip your chilies in plain flour first, this will help the batter stick to the pepper. After covering the pepper in flour, dip it into the bowl of batter, carefully covering entire pepper.  Fry them in the hot oil for 2 minutes on each side, or till golden brown.

An alternate way to fix Chilies Rellenos is to remove stems and seeds, insert cheese, layer in a 9×13″ pan, cover with this batter recipe and bake in a 350F oven till golden brown. Beautiful served alongside rice and beans, with a garnish of lettuce and tomatoes!

Green Chili Stew

  • 1 1/2 lbs stew meat
  • 1/2 medium diced onion
  • 2 medium diced potatoes
  • 8-10 green chilies or Big Jim’s (roasted and peeled with seeds/stems removed)
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cumin, if desired
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Brown stew meat in 2 TB hot oil, add onions during last 2-3 minutes to saute, lastly add minced garlic
  2. Add enough water to cover and simmer covered for 30 minutes
  3. Add potatoes, diced green chilies, and spices
  4. Add more water to desired “soupiness”
  5. Let cook for another 20-30 minutes

Can use this dish as a stew, or as a side dish w/beans and rice and a tortilla, or it can be cooked down till it’s saucy enough to use as a burrito filling. This recipe can also be put together in the morning and left in the crockpot on low all day…

These 3 recipes were on a fabulous DVD Farmer John loaned me yesterday called “Get Your Fix” New Mexico Chile Cooking Demos…halfway through watching it, I called the farm and asked them to set aside 10 lbs for me! What an easy sell…ha!

What are you doing to keep warm today?

Cooking and Food

Spiced Oven-Dried Apple Slices

Fall is definitely in the air! And so perfect for having Cream of Asparagus Soup for lunch, baking bread ALL day, and boy do I have a recipe for you!

It’s called smelling-the-house-up-like-the-holidays-oh-my…if you have an Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer, this is a great way to put it to use. And the kids will be wowed. Over and over again. ;O)

Spiced Oven-dried Apple Slices

  • 4 apples, sliced with Apple/Peeler/Corer/Slicer and cut in half
  • 1 tsp cardamom seed, ground up in a coffee grinder (opt)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 fresh nutmeg, ground (or just cheat and use ground nutmeg–about 1/2 tsp)
  • 5 tsp sugar
  1. Put cardamom seed into a coffee grinder and grind till fine–add rest of sugar and spices and give a couple of whirls to mix into a fine powder.
  2. Lay parchment paper on 2 cookie sheets/pans.
  3. In storage bag, add spices and apples and toss gently to coat, shaking excess spices off. Place on parchment in a single layer.
  4. Dry in a 250 degree F oven for 1-3 hours depending on how juicy the apples are.
  5. They come out sweet, crisp and tart.
  6. Store in an airtight container–if you have any left after the kid attack!

Nothing so wonderful as having a day at home, all together, wearin’ our long johns and sweatshirts and baking to capture the warm fuzzies. ‘Course, with all this extra baking we were still doing schoolwork at 7 pm…but, ya know, we’re homeschoolers. We get to do these things. ;O)

Love to you all,