Posts Tagged ‘love’

Happy day after Valentine’s Day!

It is interesting to me how different people choose to deal with a day devoted to love. Among my unattached friends, some ignore the day altogether, others have parties with other singles, and some sit at home being sad. A few “celebrate” anti-romance by making “Singles Awareness” cards, sarcastic messages with a black, black, and more black color scheme, in an attempt to assuage depression with humor.

Personally, I love Valentine’s Day. Love is so much more than flowers, and chocolate, romance and jewelry. It does not require cards, presents, or a candlelit dinner for two (though those things are nice). Love includes everyone, not just those who are married or dating. We all have people in our lives to whom we can show love.

This day, this month, this year, I encourage you to focus on this kind of love that we can show every day, to every person we meet:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)

I have a poster in my room to remind me of this focus. I replaced the words “love” and “it” with my name, thusly:

__________ is patient, __________ is kind. __________ does not envy, __________ does not boast, __________ is not proud. __________ does not dishonor others, __________ is not self-seeking, __________ is not easily angered, __________ keeps no record of wrongs. __________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. __________ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)

Love every day!

I just started my second reading of Eric and Leslie Ludy’s book, When God Writes Your Love Story. I highly recommend any book written by either of the Ludy’s, but this one especially. It has a good message, excellent suggestions, and is very encouraging. (This is my second reading because I raced through it the first time, so eager to see what was next, I didn’t take time to stop and answer the thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter!) If you, like me, are waiting on God to write the next chapter of your love story, this book is for you! Read, enjoy, and relax.

While you read, eat cheesecake. I just made one, with a recipe from Living Without magazine (which is a great magazine, by the way). I replaced the cranberry swirl with raspberry jam and apricot jam (half and half), with great success. Enjoy!


You can find the recipe here: http://www.livingwithout.com/recipes/Dairy-Free-Cranberry-Swirl-Cheesecake-3194-1.html


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yes, that is a gluten-free, heart-shaped onion ring atop a ketchup-covered hamburger.  Yes, I made it.  Yes, it was delicious!  (Yes, I will post the recipe someday soon!)

I love Valentine’s day!  I think it is wonderful that much of the world has a holiday devoted to expressing the love that we feel all the time but often forget to mention.  I love making cards (though mine are going to hit the mail a little late this year…I’m extending the celebration!), cooking fun foods, and spending time with family.  On top of all that, at what other time of year is it appropriate to wear a plethora of shades of red, pink, and purple all in the same outfit???

People are designed to love.  God is love, and we are made in His image!  The love He has expressed for us is far greater than any cute card with hearts on it (or even a hamburger with an onion ring heart) can ever convey.  Now is a great time to remember how much God loves us, and what He did to show us that LOVE!

Here’s a few of the many verses I came across while making cards and thinking about this…

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:9-10

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God!  And that is what we are…” I John 3:1

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ lay down His life for us…” I John 3:16

Isn’t this AMAZINGLY GOOD NEWS???  The Creator of the Universe LOVES YOU!  He came to earth, lived and died, all for YOU!  For me!  To give us an overwhelming, indescribable gift:  Eternal Life!  A Home in Heaven!  To be called His children! 

We who have accepted this incomparable gift He offers have experienced the lavish graciousness of God, and it is thrilling to share His blessings with others!  Our Father knows how to give good gifts!  (See Matthew 7, Luke 11)

One of the things God has blessed me with is the time, energy and motivation to research, test, and play with gluten-free recipes.  The love He has given me, I now pass on to you in a small way with this sweet recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free cream puffs!  As you share them with your loved ones, remember to also share the sweet story of God’s love for us.  It is the recipe for Eternal satisfaction!

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Cream Puffs

1/2 cup water (omit for dairy-free)
1/4 cup butter 
(for dairy free, use 1/4 cup grapeseed or light olive oil AND 1/2 cup coconut milk)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
7 tbsp flour (white rice flour, sweet rice flour, or your favorite mix)
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, bring water, butter (or oil and coconut milk), vanilla and salt to a gentle boil. Stir in rice flour all at once and stir until mixture is smooth and cohesive.  (Dairy free note:  Don’t worry if it looks a little greasy at this point)

Remove from heat and cool 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to a smooth dough between each addition. (I mix by hand, in the pot, with a wooden spoon.  You can use a mixer, if you prefer.)

For cream puffs, use two teaspoons and shape into small balls. For éclairs, use a pastry bag and pipe into 4″ logs onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave plenty of room between each. (They puff up a Lot.)

To make swans: (picture coming as soon as I find it!)
Make bodies in the same manner as cream puffs (but slightly larger).  For heads/necks, use a pastry bag to pipe question-mark shapes on a second baking sheet.  (Make a few extras, in case any break.)  To assemble, slice “body” puffs in half horizontally and fill bottom half with cream filling.  Slice remaining tops in half vertically.  Poke a “neck/head” piece into the filling so it stands up.  Place 2 halves of puff tops on the cream filling like folded wings.  (a Google image search for “cream puff swans” will yield a plethora of examples!)

Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes (until slightly brown on top).

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This recipe can be doubled!

Note: It is essential to either line your baking sheet with parchment, or butter it well. These will stick to the sheet otherwise, and you will lose the bottom half of each one. I recommend parchment—easy cleanup!

1 cup whipping cream 
sugar to taste (powdered sugar works best)
Beat together on high speed until stiff. Refrigerate.
(Optional: fold whipped cream into one prepared box of vanilla pudding)

I have yet to find a really good dairy-free whipped cream substitute.  RiceWhip holds its shape decently, and tastes okay.  HealthyWhip (made by the same company that makes Mimicreme) is amazing in pies, and might be good in these also.  A homemade dairy-free pudding would be lovely, too.

Optional Topping
4 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate
Melt chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water. Stir until smooth.

Allow pastry to cool. Carefully dip each in chocolate to coat the top. When the chocolate has set, fill each with whipped cream either by splitting each in half with a knife or by pressing a round tip of a pastry bag gently through the side and piping full. Or, fill with cream, then drizzle chocolate over the tops in a pretty pattern.
Once filled, these can be frozen until wanted. (If you can stand not to eat them immediately!)

Other tasty fillings for these lovely shells:

  • Lemon Curd, Butter and Whipped Cream
  • Butter and JamFruit and Whipped Cream (like shortcake)
  • Egg Salad, Tuna Salad or other savory, even Taco Salad
  • Ricotta cheese, mixed with Meyer lemon juice, zest, and a touch of sugar

~With love, from your Valentine!

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