Thursday, October 24, 2013

Special Occasion Ranch Crackers and Pimento & Cheese Tea Sandwiches

On my last post, I told about my dad’s birthday party.  On this post, I would like to share with you a couple of things that I made for the heavy hors d’oeuvres that we served.

First up, tea sandwiches, southern style, with pimento and cheese.

pimento and cheese tea sandwiches

Pimento and Cheese

2 cups medium cheddar cheese, coarsely grated. (Do not use store bought pre-grated cheese as it is coated to prevent sticking together and won’t make for a good texture of pimento and cheese.)
2 TBS pimento
1 TBS kosher dill pickle juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 – 4 TBS mayonnaise

Combine all, adding mayo 1 TBS at a time to control how creamy you want it to be.  Consistency matters, so pay close attention to how much you stir so that you won’t over mix, as well.

For the bread, I cut each piece with a cookie cutter.  Begin with frozen bread. 
1.  Press cutter firmly onto center of bread slice. 
2.  Keep cutter in place and pull edges of bread away from cutter.
3.  Gently push shaped bread out of the cutter.
4.  Immediately cover each piece as you go.

shaped bread for tea sandwhiches

Once sandwiches are made, cover with a layer of slightly damp paper towels and seal well with plastic wrap.  This will keep bread soft until ready to serve. 
(For the party, I didn’t serve the sandwiches open faced, but pictured it that way so you can see the pimento and cheese.)

These Ranch crackers are addictive munchies and work nicely for a special occasion.  They don’t need a thing, but would be good with dip, cheese, or even with pimento and cheese.

spicy crackers2 

Ranch Crackers

1/2 box saltine crackers
1 envelope of dry ranch salad dressing mix
3 tsp. ground red pepper (3 tsp. gives a slight kick, but use more or less if desired.)
1 cup oil

In a bowl, stir together dry salad dressing mix, red pepper, and oil.  Pour mixture into a 1 gallon size storage bag.  Add crackers and seal bag.  Gently coat crackers well.  Lay out in a single layer (semi-single works ok), and allow crackers to dry out before serving.  (I let them dry for an hour or two.) 

Pimento and Cheese
I’m glad that you came by today.  I hope that you will stay a while and browse around! 


Linking up today at: Miz. Helen’s Country Cottage
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                             What’s Cooking Love
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Special Day!

It certainly was a day to celebrate – my dad’s 90th birthday! 

table at Daddy's party  
He’s a veteran of World War II with a purple heart (that’s him in the middle there),


and as charismatic now as he was back in the day!

Daddy 2

As I’ve mentioned here before, he favors the character Rhett Butler from “Gone with the Wind,” 

And he married Scarlett,

of course,

which happens to be my mom… ;)


Their lives would make for an epic novel, no doubt about it!

Daddy and Mama at Nanny's house 
Well, all of these aren’t “Rhett,” in character, so to speak, but here’s some pictures of Clark Gable…





And my dad…

Daddy and Mama deep sea fishing - Copy


Daddy and pipe 1Daddy in NC

My parents do resemble the actors a bit,


but what’s more, they remind us of Rhett and Scarlett!  :D 

He’s an amazing guy, my dad.  

He has a way about him – a classic southern gentleman to be sure.

He exudes charisma & could charm the birds from the trees!

 Daddy 42

Daddy and bird

He never meets a stranger, and with his quick wit, he manages to get a grin out of just about anyone, even if they’re the most dedicated sourpuss.  

He and I share a number of interests like history, collecting old recipes, a love for cameras and preserving memories , a love of nature and God’s creatures… 

Daddy and Pandora

This little puppy’s name was “Pandora” and he is bottle feeding her.

Now my dad doesn’t always think inside the box, “Pandora’s box” I’ll say, when it comes to his pets…

Where typically most people think dogs or cats with pet ownership, he does too, but not quite like you would imagine.

This is his idea of a house cat…

Daddy and oselot

Daddy's oceot 

His “house cat” was an ocelot named “Savage.”  Savage liked girls.  My dad tells me that Savage would crawl up next to them and go to sleep like a kitten.  On the other hand, he didn’t much care for men, but he respected my dad.  My dad did a lot of traveling across the country, and Savage went too.  What a sight it must have been to see Savage sitting up in the back dashboard of my dad’s car!  

Other unusual animals that I remember my dad having are peacocks and a variety of exotic birds in his backyard by the lake, and llamas across from his house, which were really cute!

I love my dad’s zest for life, and there is a lot to be learned by it.  He doesn’t let challenges get the best of him, and his attitude reflects that there is too much to enjoy in life than to focus on the negative.  Optimism is his forte! 

Daddy and I both live 20-25 miles outside of town, in opposite directions.  So we typically meet each other in town for lunch when we can. 

After 3 course lunches, he with his iced tea and then coffee, and I with my iced tea and lots more iced tea, we linger a while.  Then we usually sit in his car and visit some more.  He always has interesting things to show me and tell me about.

lunch with Daddyy 

All that to say, I’m so blessed to be able to celebrate this 90th birthday with him and it is with great joy!  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a picture of him on that special day!  

Daddy's 90th birthday

With much love I celebrate my dad, who is so dear to my heart! Signature

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

From Doubting to Believing

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  Mark 9:24

This man believed.  He had doubts too.

Do you ever feel that way? 

Faith is necessary for salvation. 

Faith in the blood of Jesus – yes – that is just what is needed.  In Romans, scripture tells us that faith will count as righteousness.    

“…the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…  Romans 3:22

Unto all, and upon all, that believe.  That means me.  That means you.  

God did not turn his back on this desperate father that we read about in the Gospel of Mark who believed, yet struggled with doubts.  Crying out, this man asked for help not only for his possessed son, but also with his own unbelief, & Jesus did just that as He changed this family’s lives that day.

faith in GodI needed faith, & God changed my life too.  I was young, & not very armed with God’s truth, but my salvation began with a choice.

I chose to believe.

Limited in knowledge & understanding, with inborn & life given fears mixed with a dash of cynicism, I decided to follow Jesus.   

Before too long, I found myself asking Him to help me with doubts and unbelief that cropped up, as Satan enjoyed toying with my frailties.    

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”  Matt. 7:7

In time, many an experience would increase my faith in the Savior whom I know is trustworthy.

Here are a few things that I’m hoping will help to increase your confidence in Christ, or help you to be armed when you come across someone that is struggling with fears & doubts about trusting Jesus as their Savior.  

1.  Obviously, Jesus is a historical fact.  For the Bible skeptic, there is other historical documentation that tells of Jesus’ healings, followers, death, & resurrection.  An example is this excerpt from The Antiquities of the Jews/Book XVIII by Flavius Josephus:

Josephus“Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” 

bibleSeeing that even some secular history testifies to Jesus can be helpful. 

However, God’s Word is our most reliable source.
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.”  1 John 5:9 
2.  The old testament is full of prophecy that gave Israel the ability to rule out any imposters & validate the genuine credentials of the Messiah.   

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14  (See also Isaiah 9:6; 45:21-22; and 53, just to name a few…)

These scriptures were written hundreds of years prior to the birth of Christ!  The prophecies of the Old Testament confirm with certainty the identity of Jesus Christ.  The odds of someone matching up to these prophecies were astronomical, yet He was a perfect match.  

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,” Gal. 4:4

The fullness of time did come, and God loves us so much that He sent forth His Son.  Not just a prophet, not just a teacher, not just a man of God.  The Son of God.  The Savior of the world… 

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

3.  When we get down to it, skepticism is doubting the truthfulness of God. 

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”  1 John 5:10

God does not deceive.  He tells us in His Word that His Son Jesus is the only way to eternal life. 

4.  I’ll set the scene here on my fourth and favorite point.  The disciples were terrified.  Their intimate friend, the one that called them to be fishers of men,

Jesus calling first disciples

the one that they saw heal the sick, that turned little into plenty, that walked on water…had been apprehended and was to be crucified.

Previous File: bmChristWalkingOnWater_1_6.psd
'Christ Walking On Water'  Modified Color for Ben McPhereson
Imagine the panic they must have felt!  They deserted Him… 

Cowards!  …? 

(Did I grab your attention?  Truth is, had I been in their sandals, I may’ve done the same, but I really don’t want you to miss this point…)

They deserted Jesus.  Why do you suppose they did?  Out of fear?  Doubts?

But they were anything but cowardly after the resurrection…
Why do you think that is…?  

These same men BOLDLY preached Christ, in spite of knowing that they too would likely suffer death for doing so…(And all did with the exception of John).  Yet they courageously preached the gospel!

There is only one logical conclusion.  All doubt was erased and fear paled as these men saw with their own eyes that Jesus was alive.  

In the words of John: 

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” 
1 John 4: 14-15      

5.  The disciples weren’t the only ones that would risk life & limb to spread the gospel. 

Because of his Roman citizenship, mixed with his background of a Jewish education, Paul was afforded a life full of opportunity & worldly comforts.  Yet once he experienced Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul traded in living the good life for spreading the gospel, which resulted in being chased, shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, & imprisoned.  Yet that was okay by him.  He was a man on a mission!

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” he writes, in Phil. 1:21.

Within weeks of the resurrection, thousands more abandoned their religious & social practices, becoming convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, in spite of facing the possibility of brutal Roman persecution.  

Ah, my friend, these few evidences that I’ve mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.  There is so much to say on this subject that I could fill a book!  But I won’t.  God did that already.


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