May 31

Salad for Dinner

2007 at 8:05 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Stockxpertcom_id524454_size1_2 Here are two favorite main dish salads:

Tossed Salad with Angel Hair Pasta

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle Newman’s Own Salad Dressing
1 box of angel hair pasta
Tossed salad

Cut chicken breasts into one-inch strips and marinade in Newman’s Own salad dressing for at least an hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cook angel hair pasta according to package directions, drain, and toss with olive oil. Create salad to your liking. To serve, dish salad onto plate, top with warm pasta, chicken, and salad dressing of choice. Or, you may like to try it with this homemade salad dressing:

Greg’s Special Dressing

1 qt. mayonnaise
3 t. lemon juice
4 T. cracked black pepper
2/3 c. water
1 t. A-1 sauce
10 drops L & P Worcestershire
5 drops Tabasco sauce
½ t. dry mustard
1 T. garlic powder
½ c. Parmesan cheese
2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. chopped parsley

Party Pasta Salad

You can serve this pasta salad with or without the chicken.

Pasta Salad:

½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Finely chopped garlic to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup pitted black olives
Lettuce leaves

Marinated Chicken Breast
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
Dash of freshly grated ginger root or ground ginger to taste
1 8-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 T. vegetable oil
Sprigs of parsley or basil, for garnish

To make the pasta salad: In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, oil, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the pasta, tomato, Parmesan cheese, and olives and toss to thoroughly combine. Let the salad stand for 1 hour. Serve on top of lettuce leaves.
To make the chicken breast: in a medium bowl, stir together the teriyaki sauce and ginger. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
Slice the chicken into ½-inch-wide strips and place them o to of the pasta. Garnish with sprigs of parsley or basil.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

May 31

the Jesus Storybook Bible

2007 at 4:32 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Resource Recommendations

61nhd8vcrbl_aa240_ Recently, my husband came in from putting Jack to bed and he was all excited. He had just been reading our son a new children’s Bible storybook and he was delighted with it’s Christ-centered approach. So, because we like to keep you up-to-date on the resources we are benefiting from, here is Steve’s endorsement of the Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jago:

I love this Bible because it does what few other children’s Bibles have done: it keeps Christ at the center of every story. From the very beginning, every page includes some connection to the person and work of Jesus Christ. The pictures are fabulous, and the story is told at a level that even our four-year-old Jack can understand. He gets it: Who is the Rescuer? Jesus! What is God’s Secret Rescue Plan? The gospel! He is learning about the Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. Even his toddling intellect is beginning to grasp that the whole story of the Bible points to a Savior. And we’re only at Jacob and Rachel! I highly recommend this Bible as the primary reading Bible for toddlers and younger school-aged kids.

May 30

More Summer Greens

2007 at 7:09 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Stockxpertcom_id524454_size1_2 Here are three more salads to complement any summer meal:

Greek Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into one inch chunks
1 small can black olives, drained
½ jar pepperoncini
1 ounce package feta cheese (crumbled)

Salad dressing:
½ cup pepperoncini juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon dried basil

Whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss all of the vegetables with lettuce, including olives and pepperoncini. Top with cheese and dressing. Toss well.

Strawberry Salad

1 bag romaine lettuce
1 bag spinach
1 pt. strawberries
1 can mandarin oranges
1 c. pecans, salted & roasted at 350 degrees for 7 min.

1/3 c. white vinegar
¾ c. sugar
1 tsp ground mustard
1 ½ tsp. onion flakes
½ tsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1 c. oil.

Mix and toss salad ingredients. To make dressing: Heat vinegar and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add mustard, onion flakes, poppy seeds, salt and oil. Pour dressing over salad just before serving.

Broccoli Salad

3 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
¼ cup sugar

Combine the broccoli, bacon, onion and cheese. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add the dressing mixture to the broccoli mixture about an hour before serving.

May 30

Homecoming Links

2007 at 4:52 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

1b Welcome home to all of you who attended the New Attitude 2007 (Na) conference. It was fun following all the excitement at The Rebelution, Challies and Boundless—even if it did make me feel old! But for all of us who weren’t able to attend, the messages are available for free at the Sovereign Grace Ministries website.

As a little welcome home present to all the single girls who attended Na, we want to encourage you to check out two helpful articles.

With the rise in popularity of on-line dating, the question, “What does the Bible have to say about Internet dating?” is increasingly relevant. But the answer may not be immediately obvious—I mean, it’s not like you’ll find this topic in your complete concordance! Thank God for wise pastors who diligently study God’s Word and help us to apply it to our lives. A pastor at Covenant Life Church, Isaac Hydoski, has compiled the collective thoughts of that pastoral team in an article entitled “A Pastoral Response to Online Dating.” This wise, pastoral advice can also serve anyone pursuing a relationship with the opposite sex.

1506_large The other article is one your friends who are married with kids will encourage you to read (in fact, they may have already sent you the link!). It’s what many of them wish they would have considered before they became a mom. “Ten Things Now to Stay at Home Later” by Heather Koerner offers practical advice and encouragement to single women to make decisions today that will enable them to serve their family tomorrow.

Speaking of serving your family (and yourself!) more yummy salads coming later today!

May 29

A Summer of Greens

2007 at 5:21 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Homemaking | Recipes

There are some things that just go together… things like… milk and cookies, ball and glove, needle and thread… and the topic of conversation for this week… summer and salads.

Stockxpertcom_id524454_size1_2Sure, we consume salads all year round, but they are especially delectable as a summer meal addition or even as the main dish. Don’t you agree? For that reason, we are going to take the next four days (along with other entries) to post our top ten favorite salad recipes. We hope you might find one or more out of the bunch to add to your favorites.

Here are three to start off our summer salad fest:

Tossed Salad with hard-boiled eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese

Salad dressing:
½ of small-med onion
½ cup cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup catsup
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

In blender place the onion, vinegar and sugar. Blend until the onion is pulverized. Add the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate.

Salad platter:
½ head romaine lettuce, torn
½ head iceberg lettuce, torn
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, sliced in quarters
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
6 to 12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Parsley flakes

Combine salad items in a large bowl or on a large platter. Arrange hard-boiled eggs around the edge of salad. Top salad with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Sprinkle parsley flakes over all. Serve with dressing.

Tossed Salad with feta and cranberries

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Sunkist Almond Accents Honey Roasted sliced almonds

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, water and salad dressing mix; shake well. In a large salad bowl, combine the romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese and cranberries. Top with sliced almonds. Serve with dressing.

Green bean, walnut and feta salad

1 ½ lbs. fresh green beans (ends trimmed), cut in half crosswise
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup (packed) fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (To toast nuts, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook in oven at 350F for 5 minutes)
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Bring 4 quarts salted water to boil in 6 quart pan over medium high heat. Add beans and cook until crisp tender—about 4 minutes. Drain well; immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking process. Drain beans again; pat dry with paper towels. (Can be prepared several hours ahead)
Combine oil, mint, vinegar, salt, garlic and pepper in processor and blend.
Arrange beans in shallow glass serving bowl. Sprinkle with nuts, onion and cheese. Just before serving, pour dressing over and toss thoroughly.

May 28

Memorial Day Thanks

2007 at 5:30 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Stockxpertcom_id112809_size1 This morning I woke up in a comfortable bed in a quiet neighborhood, looking forward to a relaxing holiday with my husband and children. But while I was sleeping (at least as much as Tori would let me!) men and women thousands of miles away were wide-awake in anything-but-quiet neighborhoods in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were patrolling streets and training troops and hunting terrorists in the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world. And tonight, while I’m sleeping peacefully, they’ll do it all over again.

As America celebrates Memorial Day, it is a wonderful opportunity to thank those who have put themselves in harms way (whether this year or sixty years ago) in order to protect us from harm. And to thank their families as well—the husbands, wives, children, and parents who have selflessly lent us their loved ones. We owe them a debt of gratitude for every comfort of a free society. And there is no way we can repay them, or their families. “Thank you” isn’t enough, but it’s a start.

So to our friends, Dennis & Diane whose son is in Iraq, and to every service member or family member who is reading this today: Thank you for your sacrifice so that we can work, play, raise our families, and most importantly of all, worship God in freedom. And thank you for peaceful nights of sleep. May God grant the same to you and your loved-ones, for “He gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).

On behalf of the other grateful girltalkers,

May 25

Trusting God

2007 at 5:28 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Trusting God

Stockxpertcom_id66579_size1To conclude our topic on “trusting God” for this week, we want to leave you with a few of our favorite quotes (besides the ones we’ve included in our posts):

“It is a very easy thing for us to get into a desponding state of heart, and to mistrust the promises and faithfulness of God, and yet, all the while, to look upon ourselves as the subjects of a disease which we cannot help, and even to claim pity at the hands of our fellow-men, and to think that they should condole us, and try to cheer us. Perhaps they should; but, at any rate, we must not think that they should. It will be far wiser for each one of us to feel, ‘This unbelief of mine is a great wrong in the sight of God. He has never given me any occasion for it, and I am doing him a cruel injustice by thus doubting him.’” Charles Spurgeon “It is just as important to trust God as it is to obey Him. When we disobey God we defy His authority and despise His holiness. But when we fail to trust God we doubt His sovereignty and question His goodness.” Jerry Bridges “Difficulties heaped upon difficulties can never rise the level of the promise of God…Unbelief looks at the difficulty. Faith regards the promise.” Charles Bridges “Where faith is deficient the gospel is sufficient.” CJ Mahaney He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how shall he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things. Romans 8:32

May 24

Never Dream of It

2007 at 6:00 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

With all this week’s talk about “trusting God,” I was reminded of a chapter we wrote in our book, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood. Though the content pertains to mothering, I hope you will find the following excerpts from “A Mother’s Faith” instructive and faith-building—whatever your season of life:

Stockxpertcom_id397458_size1_3Several years ago C.J. and I, along with Nicole and Janelle (Kristin was living in Chicago at the time), were interviewed at a parent’s meeting at our church. The moderator asked C.J. and me, “If you could parent your daughters all over again, what would you do differently?” It was not a tough question. While I am aware of numerous ways I would want to be a better mom, one thing stands out far ahead of the rest.

I wish I had trusted God more.

For every fearful peek into the future, I wish I had looked to Christ instead. For each imaginary trouble conjured up, I wish I had recalled the specific, unfailing faithfulness of God. In place of dismay and dread, I wish I had exhibited hope and joy. I wish I had approached mothering like the preacher Charles Spurgeon approached his job: “forecasting victory, not foreboding defeat.”

The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Fear is sin. And as my husband has often graciously reminded me—God is not sympathetic to my unbelief. Why? Because fear, worry, and unbelief say to God that we don’t really believe He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ps. 86:15). We are calling God a liar.

Even in the most trying situations, we have much more incentive to trust than to fear, much more cause for peace and joy than despair. That’s because, as Christians, we have the hope of the gospel.

Perhaps your home is a place of peace and tranquility, your fears as insignificant as gnats to swat away. Or maybe trials are washing over you like relentless waves. Your anxieties are consuming and overwhelming. They rob you of sleep and plague your waking hours. But no matter the size or the shape of your fears, may I encourage you to take them to the foot of the cross? The gospel isn’t an out-of-date message; it is the good news of a saving God who is “a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1). So repent from worry and put your trust in the glorious gospel.

My husband has a Charles Spurgeon quotation as his screen-saver, which we would do well to have running across the screen of our minds: “As for His failing you, never dream of it—hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.”

No matter what your temptation to fear or anxiety may be today,remember that the God for whom nothing is too hard can be trusted to the end!

May 23

Do I Believe It?

2007 at 5:42 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

Stockxpertcom_id452555_size1In my daily fight to trust in the God for whom nothing is too hard I often find myself going to my feelings as my starting point. Instead of first consulting the truth of God’s Word I check in with myself. What do I feel today? Am I tired? Fearful? Angry? Happy?

My dad describes this sinful tendency in his book, Christ Our Mediator: “Even when it comes to our spiritual life, at any given moment we direct and locate our faith in our emotional state rather than in clearly objective truth. We tend to ask God for more ‘experience,’ then assure Him that if He’ll give it, we’ll acknowledge and believe His truth. And one of the tragic results is that we’re seldom amazed by the reality of the cross and of the gracious disposition of God toward sinners that the cross reveals.”

Sound familiar? I have experienced seasons where feelings of fear and anxiety seemed overwhelming and I was tempted to despair. As I pressed more deeply into the Scriptures and sought the counsel of those around me, I realized that I was exalting the truth of my feelings over God’s clear and objective truth. I was placing my faith in my unstable and inaccurate emotions. It was only after I repented and began to fight for faith in the Lord and His Word, that feelings of peace and joy followed.

Martin Lloyd Jones says, “I must never ask myself in the first instance: What do I feel about this? The first question is, Do I believe it?”

Where do you find yourself today? Are you being tempted to put your faith in how you feel about your circumstances? Maybe it’s exam week and you are anxious or maybe you were up all night with a sick little one and find yourself tempted to anger or discouragement. Whatever you might be up to today, I want to encourage you to look first and only to the Lord –and not your feelings—and trust His grace to carry you though.