How Big is Your Tea Tin?

Rerunning this favorite article today in honor of the Tumblewood Tea ladies who are hosting a TEA this evening (scroll down for the cookies we are serving :-))…

That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:17-19 (NKJV)

On a sunny March morning, the wind blew me through the door of this charming tea company in Big Timber, Montana.  Smiling faces and an inviting tea showroom beckoned me inside.  My goal was to find the largest tea container for my upcoming article, but I was treated to even more.

Tumblewood Teas founder, Riza Gilpin, graciously ushered me from one tea room to the next. Huge tea bundles from around the world were carefully organized on pallets from floor to ceiling.  Separate storage rooms contained organic teas, with another room for potential allergens such as coconut and almonds.  In the backroom, individual bags of the latest blend were carefully sealed and labeled.  And a bucket of Montana honey was delivered to the back door.

My final stop on the impromptu tour was the showroom where all the latest tea blends can be purchased.  I selected four to give as hostess gifts on an Easter trip to family:  Chico Cherry, Montana Almond Joy, Petticoat Peppermint, and Custer’s Nutty Rooibos. I’m hoping my family will give me a taste, but if not, I can always stop back and see Riza and Laurie and the Tumblewood Tea gals for more.

Beside the front door as I headed out, stood a rack of tea tins from around the world.  Awesome! What a beautiful collection, fitting so well with my devotion, “How big is your tea tin?”  But none was as big as the bundles I witnessed in the storerooms that day.

The wind blew me back to my car.  While I took a sip from my well-loved Tumblewood Teas tumbler, I pondered all I had learned on my short visit.  Did you know green tea’s water should only be 175 degrees, not 212 degrees that comes out of my boiling tea kettle?  If the water is too hot, the leaves wilt, giving you a bitter flavor.

Our lives can be like that, too, bitter because we fall into hot water.  Sometimes it’s our own doing, and other times it comes from outside sources. Regardless of its origin, the bitterness is a result of our fallen world.  Ever since Eve and Adam ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, we’ve needed a Savior to make life sweet again.

I have Good News for you!  There is a God who loves you, who created you, who knows you, who sent His only Son Jesus to die for your sins.  All who believe in Him enjoy the sweet blessing of His forgiveness and comfort for life’s bitter moments.  And there is no tea tin in all the world that can contain His love for you!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, I invite you today to sit down with Jesus for TEA.  Find a BIBLE and a quiet spot, sip your TEA and read God’s Word, savoring the sweetness.  Then as you pour yourself a second cup, pour out your heart to Jesus in prayer.  He will give you more than all you ask or imagine.

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 (NKJV)

Jennifer Grace lives in Big Timber, Montana, home to the esteemed Tumblewood Teas company.  Her mission is to invite ladies to TEA with the King of kings.  Jennifer Grace’s new book, My TEA CUPP Prayers, is now available in Big Timber at Tumblewood Teas, The Fort, Touch of Sunshine Flowers, and the Coffee Stop.  It’s also available on Amazon.

And here are the Zucchini Cookies we are serving with our tea…

Ingredients:
2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup grated zucchini, it’s okay to leave on the skin
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
1 package Enjoy Life chocolate chips (dairy-free)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine all the dry ingredients together in one bowl:  rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Add the vanilla and eggs and mix well.  Stir in the grated zucchini.  Next add the dry ingredients and walnuts, mixing well.  Finally, stir in the Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use a small scoop to spoon the cookie batter onto the pans, 12 to a pan.  It should make four batches, or about 48 cookies.  Bake each pan for 15 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy.  48 cookies should last a long time, but somehow these always disappear in two days at my house!  Enjoy!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Grainburgers – GF

Happy Labor Day Weekend, dear prayer friends…

 

Looking for something a little different for that end-of-summer cookout?  Here’s a recipe to please the vegetarians in your crowd and it’s even gluten-free!  Make a big batch of these veggieburgers and freeze the extras for another impromptu barbecue.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups rice (uncooked)
4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup carrots, shredded
3 eggs, beaten (optional, leave out for vegans)
2/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup rice flour or oats
2/3 cup ground flax seed
tamari soy sauce
salt
cayenne pepper
olive oil for frying

Cook rice in a pot with water and salt (bring to a boil on high, turn heat to low, put on lid, and simmer for 50 minutes, rice should be sticky — you could also do this in a rice-cooker). Let rice cool a little.

Next saute the onions and peppers about 5 minutes.  Add the veggies and carrots to the rice.  Mix in the eggs and grains. Season to taste with soy sauce, salt and a dash of cayenne.  Form into patties.  If it’s not sticky enough, you can add another egg.  If it’s too sticky, add more grains.  Brown in oil on both sides in a hot skillet. These also work on the grill on a grill mat.  Serve with lettuce and tomatoes.  A slice of dairy-free cheese melted on top is also yummy.

Enjoy your summer cookout!

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.  Psalm 90:1-2 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Gluten-Free Choc. No-Bakes

While I’m camping with my family, please enjoy this summer recipe…

When it’s summer time and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, or perhaps your oven broke like ours did last month, it’s time for some No-Bake Cookies!

This variety of No-Bakes is gluten-free and dairy free.  The oats, coconut, and peanut butter make these a great energy-treat on a busy summer day.

Here Chef Joel whips up a batch…

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond milk
2 cups sugar
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup shredded coconut

Directions:
In a large sauce pan, cook the coconut oil, milk, sugar and cocoa over medium heat, stirring constantly.  When it starts to boil, keep stirring and let it boil for one minute.  Then remove the pot from the stove to a pot holder on the counter.  Now add the peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until combined.  Add the oats and coconut, one cup at a time until well mixed.

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.  With a small ice cream or melon scoop, scoop the mixture onto the pans, about 20 per pan.  Place the pans in the frig to firm up. Now, stand guard, they will disappear quickly!  If you prefer them a bit softer, you could add less oatmeal.

Happy summertime, dear friends!

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine Cookies – GF

img_6224  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  John 15:13 (NKJV)

We love Valentine’s Day and we love cookies!  So, we had to make some gluten-free, dairy-free heart cookies again this year.  I first ran this recipe four years ago. My two-year old taste-tester Joel said they were delicious.  Now my six-year old Joel rolls out the dough and cuts the hearts for me!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut oil, softened
1 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups gluten-free flour
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt

Cream coconut oil, Earth Balance butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.  In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, xanthan gum, and salt  (I used 3 1/2 cups brown rice flour and 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour).   Add dry ingredients to coconut oil mixture, stirring until it is well combined.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll out dough on your kitchen counter until it is 1/4 inch thickness. It might seem crumbly, but you can work with it to make it stick together. Use cookie cutters to cut out hearts or your favorite shapes.  Place cookies on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Bake 12 minutes, then cool on cooling racks.  Top with your favorite icing (I use a mixture of 2 T. coconut oil, powder sugar, almond milk, a dash of vanilla and food coloring, adding sugar and almond milk until it is just the amount and consistency I need).

Now you get to eat your heart cookies and share them with your family and friends!  Spread around some love today :-)!

p.s. This recipe makes great Christmas cookies, too!

img_6225For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. John 16:27 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Shepherd’s Pie

I love to have a Christmas theme with our holiday meals.  This Christmas Eve we will have Shepherd’s Pie and Angel Food Cake!  You can’t beat that for sharing the Greatest Story while enjoying a family meal.  We will talk about how the shepherds were just sitting in their field, talking and watching their sheep as they did every night since they could remember.  When, boom, up in the sky appeared an angel, proclaiming to them:

…“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”   Luke 2:10-14 (NKJV)

And what did the shepherds do when they heard this Good News from the angels?  They left their posts and headed straight into town to find the baby Jesus.  Let’s leave what we are doing to find Jesus, too. Pop this shepherd’s pie in the oven or crockpot on Christmas Eve and head out to church.

Ingredients:
3 large white potatoes
1/2 teapsoon basil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup almond milk
salt and pepper
A variety of veggies, making 4-6 cups, including:
green or red onion
garlic (optional)
carrots
yellow peppers
kale/spinach leaves
pumpkin or zucchini cubes
tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon taragon
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup Daiya non-dairy cheese shreds
parsley flakes or fresh
paprika

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and boil gently for 20-25 minutes.  (Prepare your other veggies while the potatoes are cooking.)  Drain water.  Mash the potatoes, then add basil, olive oil, almond milk, salt and pepper.  Beat until fluffy.  Set aside.

Saute the onion in olive oil.  Add remaining veggies and seasonings, add firmer vegetables first (garlic, carrots, peppers), then add (kale/spinach, pumpkin, zucchini) and finally tomatoes right at the end. Cook 5-10 minutes total, or until veggies are starting to soften.  Transfer sauted veggies to a 2 quart casserole dish or crockpot.  Add the bay leaf and 1 cup water.  Spread the mashed potatoes on top.

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes (set oven timer if you are going to church), or in the crockpot for 1-2 hours on high.  Just before serving, top with Daiya cheese shreds, parley and paprika sprinkles.

And for dessert, the day before, whip up this easy Angel Food Cake mix!

 

Now you can enjoy Shepherd’s Pie and Angel Food Cake and tell the Christmas story while you eat!  Have a blessed Christmas, everyone!!!

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men! Luke 2:14 (NKJV)

Scripture taken the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Thank you to Jesus The Good Shephed Clip Art!

Christmas Quiche

Celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus is always a special day with our family.  From church to presents to meals, it is a full day (thank you, Jesus, for these blessings!). So we don’t get too worn out in the midst of celebrating, and I still have time for my morning TEA with Jesus, quick and bake-ahead recipes make the day even better.

Recently I discovered our Town and Country grocery store carries gluten-free pie crusts. What a joy to be able to make quick pies and quiches again!  And with dairy-free cheese, even more people may eat this tasty meal. You will love this quiche for Christmas breakfast, brunch, lunch or even supper!

Ingredients:
1 prepared gluten-free pie crust
1 1/2 cups Daiya shredded, non-dairy cheese
1 cup chopped veggies (the quiche in the picture has black olives, spinach, and broccoli)
4 eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set out the prepared pie shell. Layer in one cup of the non-dairy cheese shreds and then the 1 cup veggies.  In a bowl, combine the eggs, almond milk, garlic, salt and pepper.  Beat well.  Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup non-dairy cheese on top.  Bake for one hour, or until golden on top and set on the inside (when I used spinach, it took longer because of the extra moisture).  Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before slicing.

Extra ideas:  Dairy eaters may use regular cheese and half & half in place of the almond milk.  My son Jacob will also have you add Tumeric with the garlic for health benefits. You can bake this ahead of time and serve for any meal.  Keeps well for leftovers, so make more than one.  Enjoy!  Merry Christmas Quiche!

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Simply Gluten-Free Biscuits

Family members always enjoy a little bread on the side with their meals, and holidays are no exception.  These biscuits are simple to whip up for Christmas dinner or any time of the year. Serve with honey or jam.

 

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup almond or coconut milk
3 Tablespoons honey
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:  flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthan gum.  Blend well with a wire wisk.  Next add the wet ingredients:  Coconut oil, almond milk, honey, and egg.  Mix only until dry ingredients are all incorporated.  Use an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter onto the prepared pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with honey or jam.

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Anna’s Peanut Butter Cups

It’s time to make holiday treats again!  If you’re like me, you are eager to try new recipes.  But often that is tricky if you need to make gluten-free and dairy-free confections.  My friend Anna served these at a gathering for homeschool moms this fall.  She had a bowl full of them in her fridge. They are so tasty, I don’t think a bowl would last very long in my fridge!

So this begins my Holiday Recipes section of Gluten-Free with your TEA. I thought it would be a blessing for my family to have all our favorites gathered together in one place.  If you are looking for some gluten-free, dairy-free Holiday ideas, these recipes are for you!  And enjoy these delicious treats from my friend Anna!

Ingredients:
Peanut Layer:
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened baking cocoa)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey

Line a mini-muffin pan with 24 liners.  Make the peanut layer first.  Melt the coconut oil either in a pan on the stove or in a glass dish in the microwave.  Remove from heat to a potholder on the counter. Then stir in the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.  Mix well, then carefully spoon into your prepared muffin cups.  Set the pan in the fridge while you make the chocolate layer.

Next, make the chocolate layer.  Again, melt the coconut oil either in a pan on the stove or in a glass dish in the microwave.  Remove from heat to a potholder on the counter.  Stir in cocoa powder, vanilla, and honey.  Mix well.  Take your muffin pan out of the fridge. It is okay for the nut layer to still be soft.  Carefully spoon the chocolate layer over the nut layer.  Your muffin cups will be full to the top.  Place the completed peanut butter cups back in the fridge to harden for at least an hour.  Now stand guard at the fridge because these will disappear quickly!

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

Pumpkin & Pecan Pies

My kids have been asking for these recipes, so I thought I would put them here where all of us can easily find them! Our favorite pumpkin pie recipe came from an old church cookbook that had half a dozen pumpkin pie recipes.  I finally starred the one I liked best. Our favorite pecan pie recipe came from the Joy of Cooking recipe book we were given at our wedding over 28 years ago!  Both recipes have been adapted to be gluten-free and dairy-free.  Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas pies!

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients:
1 prepared gluten-free pie crust
2 cups cooked pumpkin from the garden or 1 can pumpkin
(To cook pumpkin, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash a small or medium pumpkin.  Slice pumpkin in half. Scoop out all the seeds and goop.  Place cut side down on a baking pan lined with tin foil and parchment paper.  Poke outer skin with a fork.  Bake for 60-90 minutes until tender.  Remove from oven.  Carefully turn pumpkins over to let out steam.  When cool, scoop out cooked pumpkin.  You can freeze cooked pumpkin in containers to make pies later).

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Set out prepared gluten-free pie crust.  Place remaining ingredients in a blender container.  Blend on high for 30 seconds.  Pour into prepared pie shell.  Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  Reduce temperature to 375 and bake 45-75 more minutes, depending on how moist your pumpkin was.  While the pumpkin pies are baking, you can whip up your pecan pie. When pumpkin pies seem set and golden on top, remove from oven and cool on cooling racks.  These keep well in the fridge and can even be frozen!

Pecan Pie Ingredients:
1 prepared gluten-free pie crust
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup corn syrup or molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces or halves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, or put in oven with pumpkin pies when you reduce heat to 375.  Set out prepared gluten-free crust.  Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl in order given.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie shell.  Bake for 45 minutes or until it seems set and golden on top.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Now stand guard because these pies are delicious!

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Kevin’s Great Guacamole

We love Mexican food!  All those fresh veggies and beans and a bowl full of chips — it’s a great lunch or dinner anytime, and easily made gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, if desired. But what makes it extra special is when you have avocados on hand.  Then you can an add a big bowl of guacamole to the buffet.  The other day my son Kevin made this delicious recipe. Everyone’s eyes and tummies will light up when you serve this at your next Mexican feast:

Kevin’s Great Guacamole Ingredients:
10 ripe avocados, scooped, pitted, and mashed
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons salt to taste
ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and chill until serving time.  This keeps a few days covered in the frig, but people will most likely gobble it all down right away! Enjoy!

P.S.  Try this with my Re-fried Bean Dip!

But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” Luke 24:41 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.