Friday, June 29, 2012

Grain Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

That is quite the cookie name eh?  While browsing Pinterest last week, I found this recipe.   Texanerin Baking recently posted these healthy option cookies on her blog.  The part that was very intriguing to me was the ingredients, or lack thereof.  No flour, no oil, no white sugar...BUT they do contain chick peas!!  The picture looked great, and I'll be honest, I was just plain curious to see if they were as yummy as Texanerin claimed them to be.  

My conclusion would be, oh yes!!!!  They are very yummy!!  I would definitely make them again... and again for a healthier, sweet treat option.  

1 1/4C chickpeas (rinsed and patted dry)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2C + 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
1/4C honey
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt if your PB doesn't have salt in it
1/2C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine all ingredients except for chocolate chips in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Scrape the sides of the processor, add the chocolate chips and stir or pulse a couple times.  Mixture will be very thick and sticky.  With wet hands form into 1 1/2" balls.  Place on parchment paper.  Press down with a fork if you like.  They do not raise.  Bake for 10 minutes.  ( I left them in for about 13 min)  Yield:  At least 14 cookies

I would say they are better warm.  So just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.  Just long enough for some gooey chocolate chips.  :0)


Foodie Friday
Country Momma Cooks

Continue Reading....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Stirring up a hornet's nest..."

The past couple weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of gardening, including breaking up the soil from one flower bed and removing all the weeds, beetle larvae, and other undesirable matter. I fill up my wheelbarrow and sit at the bottom of the deck stairs to do this. Last Sunday afternoon, my neighbor looked over and said, “Are you still there doing that!?” (she hates gardening). It’s a job I love doing, though, since it allows me to dig through the soil with my hands without having to get down on my knees (which I am not able to do anymore)…you avid gardeners need no further explanation!

When I finished this particular job last Sunday, I began gathering up my tools and I tossed my trowel up toward the top of the deck. As I did, I noticed some hornets swarming around an old bird house that was attached to a pole which I had propped up in the corner of the deck/stairs. On closer investigation, I realized they were building a nest inside the bird house, only about four feet from where I had been working for several days oblivious to the activity above my head! After a quick prayer thanking the Lord I hadn’t accidently knocked the pole over as I ducked under the deck a few times to turn on the water hose, I decided we had to take care of the nest soon – when my husband returned home from a business trip; I wasn’t about to do that job alone as I have a real fear of hornets and their cousins.

So, on Monday night after it got dark, my husband suited up in a netted “jacket” and armed himself with a can of Hornet Blaster (if you’ve never used the stuff, it’s amazing but stinks worse than a skunk!! Hint: close all windows first and wear something old that you can immediately throw in the washer afterward. Wait until after dark as the hornets will have returned to the nest and don’t fly at night.) A few sprays inside the little hole on the bird house and hubby made a bee-line (no pun intended) for the door.

The next day, I noticed no hornet activity, so from a distance threw a stick at the bird house…still nothing. Then I gingerly took the stick and knocked the bird house and pole over…still no activity. Now remember, I said I am very scared of hornets, but I was curious. Verrrry slowly, I pried open the side panel and when all was still quiet I peeked inside. What I saw was more interesting than any other hornet’s nest we’ve ever gotten rid of before. The nest had been torn apart a bit (probably from me knocking it over), and the nesting comb had come loose as you can see in the picture. I had never seen one quite this developed, nor had I ever seen one with larvae and developing pupas in it. The 18 hornets I counted were quite dead, including the queen, but the larvae were still wiggling (sorry for any of you who are squeamish). Some of the cells had a silky cover over them which I learned later is what the larvae do when they begin to transform into an adult.[i] There were a couple hornets which had eaten through the silk and were about to emerge.

Later, when my husband and neighbor were examining the comb, we all marveled at the intricacy and precise engineering feat it presented. I had learned that it is a fertilized queen that completes the initial construction of the nest until enough adult hornets develop to carry on her work of enlarging the nest, taking care of the larvae, and bringing food to her. She simply lays the eggs at that point. (I guess that’s where we get the idiom, the “queen bee”)

What amazed me further is that in the fall, only fertilized female hornets survive the winter to continue this cycle in the spring. She relies solely on instinct as, unlike many other animal species, she does not learn these skills from her mother or from imprinting. God has built into the hornet a complex genetic code that governs her behavior apart from any prior experience or learning opportunity.[ii] This always blows my mind!

Although the only reference to hornets in the Bible are when God sent them ahead of the Israelites before His people went in to conquer their enemies, there is mention of other animals which use their God-given instincts.

Proverbs 30:25-27 says, “Ants; they are weak, but they store up their food in the summer. Rock badgers: they are not strong either, but they make their homes among the rocks. Locusts, they have no king, but they move in formation.” Jeremiah 8:7 says, “Even storks know when it is time to return; doves, swallows, and thrushes know when it is time to migrate.”

I may have stirred up a hornet’s nest, but my heart was more stirred to praise and worship God for His infinite wisdom in designing all creatures with such complexity!

Until next Sunday,


Continue Reading....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Andrew's Favorite Dessert

This is my husband's most favorite dessert.  It is one that his mother used to make.  I don't even think it has a name.  It is a scratch white cake with a warm butterscotch sauce.  

For Father's Day we were at our little spot in the country.  We BBQ'd with Andrew's dad.  The BBQ was not earth shattering:  steak, new potatoes, and corn on the cob.  However, the dessert was wonderful!!

Take Six White Cake
This is my favorite white cake recipe.  My cousin Janice shared it with me years ago.  I believe it to be one that has proved tried and true over several generations.  

3/4C Crisco
1 3/4C sugar
3 eggs
3C flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4C milk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream the Crisco and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.  I always put my vanilla in the milk and then alternately add wet and dry to the egg mixture.  

Bake @ 325 for 45min - 1 hour. 

Warm Butterscotch Sauce
2C brown sugar
2C corn syrup
2C light cream
8 tbsp butter
4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and cream in saucepan.  Cook over med heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 min.  Remove from heat - fold in butter, vanilla and salt.  Serve hot or cold.  Yield 4C  This is not a thick sauce.  The cake will actually soak some of it up.  It is delicious!

Continue Reading....

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lunch for the Girls!

I had some very special girls over for lunch today.  We laughed...we cried...we laughed TIL we cried!!  We enjoyed such a great time together.   Our lunch was a Cobb Salad.  It is such an easy thing to serve when you have friends in.  Everything can be prepared ahead of time, and then you assemble the salad when you are ready to eat.  I lined the plates on the counter and made the salads "assembly line style".   

Romaine lettuce, sliced egg, bacon, grated cheddar, cubed baked ham, diced tomato, shredded baked chicken breast.  After everyone left, I went into the kitchen and noticed the yummy avocados still sitting in the fruit bowl on the counter where I placed them so I "wouldn't forget them"!!!! :(  Sorry girls!!

Homemade Parmesan Peppercorn Dip / Dressing

Our salad dressing was a delicious homemade one.  Yvonne from StoneGable has created a wonderful Salad Dressing Primer with several yummy homemade dressing recipes.  She mentioned the Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing in her "On The Menu Monday" post this past week.  I knew it would be perfect for my Cobb Salads this weekend and she very kindly shared it with me!  It was wonderful!  Watch for it in one of her upcoming posts.  

Confession time.  We were too full for dessert right after lunch, so we waited until our lunch settled a bit and then made quick work of these gooey brownies, Vanilla frozen yogurt and fresh Nova Scotia strawberries.  Oh was really good!

Continue Reading....

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Appointments..."

It seems these past few weeks have been all about appointments for me…if it’s not one doctor or another, it’s with my hairdresser, or my physiotherapist, or my osteopath, or the dentist, or the optometrist, or a dinner date, or a church meeting, or X-rays…and I don’t work outside my home or still have children living at home, so my hat’s off to you women who manage to juggle both or all three!

Appointments are a necessary part of life, but they sure can disrupt it. If I didn’t have to travel very far to get to them, or spend more than five minutes waiting for them, or have to cancel and re-schedule one to fit in another of higher priority, perhaps I wouldn’t feel like they are running my life. Maybe it’s just more irritating as I get a little older – of course, the older we get, the more appointments there seem to be (unrelated to work).

I like what Albert Einstein once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.[i] I know that many people claim to be great at “multi-tasking”, but the fact remains there are still only 24 hours in a day…1440 minutes…86,400 seconds…so if you’re trying to accomplish several things in that same time frame, something doesn’t get done as well as it could otherwise….just a thought. I’ve tried to do it, but I’m much more efficient when I focus on one thing whenever possible.

A very wise man also said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) King Solomon is one of the wisest people to ever have lived – perhaps that is why his words are so often quoted, even by those who know little or nothing about the Bible. Our time is so precious and often we feel pulled, pushed, and stretched until our minds and bodies scream for rest and relaxation.

It is so important that I make every moment of my days count. David said, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.” (Psalm 39:5) I was thinking about this verse as I watched live on television Nik Wallenda make his historic crossing of Niagara Falls on Friday night. I’m sure every minute of that daring feat felt like a lifetime as he braved something no one thought he could, or should, ever do. What impressed me most, although I was sitting on the edge of my seat like everyone else, was how he prayed and thanked the Lord Jesus all the way across. He seemed to have such a deep calm and faith that was anchored in the One he called, “My Saviour… my Redeemer”. As I watched the thick mist swirl around him on that precarious journey I was also reminded of how our lives are described in James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” In an interview after his successful walk into the annals of history, I was delighted to hear him giving God the glory for this amazing gift he had been given and how he wanted to inspire people all over the world to never stop trying to realize their dreams. What a testimony!

I want my days to echo the words of David in Psalm 32:6-7, “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” My heart attitude as I go through the activities of each day with which God blesses me should be one of gratitude and praise to my Deliverer, my Hiding Place, and my Protector. When I remember to focus on this, it helps to keep the interruptions, irritations, distractions, and unexpected challenges from overwhelming me and causing me to take my eyes off the One who brings balance, calm, and steadiness into my daily walk.

One appointment we are assured of keeping and which will never be cancelled or rescheduled is the day we meet God. Hebrews 9:27-28 says, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” As a child I placed my faith in what Jesus Christ did for me and I wait for that glorious day when I will one day see Him and live forever in His presence!

Until next Sunday,


[i] http://thinkexist.come/quotations/time/

Seasonal Sunday
Think on These Things
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Which way?

This sign hung outside at our cottage.

When we sold the cottage this spring,
it came home with all the other "stuff".  
I wanted to use it at our new little spot in the country, but it just didn't suit. 
We are on a river there, not the ocean
 and this sign looks "beachy" to me.  

It hung in the sunshine and salt air
 for several years, and did it's job 
very well by pointing the way to the salt water. 
However it really was faded and chipped.  
A fresh look, and new job
were definitely in order.

So, I removed the rope hanger, 

and took out the rusty little screw eyes.

A coat of black paint really freshened it up.
When the black paint was thoroughly dry,
I put on a thick coat of  "Crackle It". 
That dried for several hours,
and then I put on a coat of white paint.  

As the "Crackle It" continued to dry
under the coat of white paint
it did it's job very well.
It crackled it!!!

The arrow has a very important new job now.
It very proudly points the way to...


Outdoor Wednesday

Continue Reading....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "Of gates and latches..."

The "before" picture

On Friday afternoon, I finally finished a job I had been meaning to do for months – fixing a loose rusty old latch on one gate of our backyard fence. I think I actually bought the new latch last fall, but other things always seemed to take priority. The night before, the neighbor children were having fun kicking a soccer ball around and occasionally it would sail over our fence into the backyard making it necessary for them to open our gate and retrieve the ball. Of course, most of the time it was left unclosed as it was difficult to open and shut – putting aside the forgetfulness of  a group of nine and ten year old boys. So, I decided it was time to fix the thing and make their play, and our yard work, a little easier.

Armed with a drill, extension cords, hammer, nails, screws, and a screwdriver set, I began reinforcing loose boards, removing the old latch, and securing a new one. It wasn’t the easiest job as our lawn slopes down and my balance isn’t the best. At last, the work was all done and I was quite pleased with the result, for an amateur.

The "after" picture
The purpose of our fence is mainly to keep out neighborhood dogs and hungry deer and to protect the garden we try to maintain. It doesn’t do much to deter raccoons as they climb right over it! The other day, a cat had strayed in and judging from the disturbed birds I figured it may be after their nests. So, I shooed him away only to see him slink right under the fence! Never mind, it helps to discourage bigger animals which can be more troublesome.

All this brought to mind a passage in John 10 where Jesus said, “I am the Gate”[i]. He too was concerned about that which He was trying to protect – not gardens, flowers, and vegetables, but His own flock of people who belong to Him. I’ve always loved these verses as it shows the extent of Jesus’ love, compassion, and protectiveness of His children.

I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through Me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (NLT)

This is such a beautiful picture of how Jesus cares for His children once they come to Him. He is the only way that leads us into a personal relationship with God. In John 14:6 He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I was reading another passage this week about this “gate” we need to enter. Matthew 7:14 says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Once we believe that Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide the gift of eternal life, we enter through Jesus, the Gate, into a life filled with all the hope, blessings, security, peace, and lasting joy that He longs for us to have.

A true shepherd not only is the one who can open the gate for the sheep, but he/she knows every one of the sheep by name. “He calls his own sheep by name…his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”[ii] What intimacy is portrayed here! Jesus knows me by my own name and distinguishes me from every one of His other children! Likewise, I must learn to know Him better each day so I will recognize His voice and follow it implicitly. This only develops as I dig deeper into His Word, the Bible, and learn about His character and how I can become more like Him.

Jesus also called Himself, “the Good Shepherd”[iii] and illustrates to what lengths He will go to protect those who believe in Him. First of all, He was willing to lay down His own life to secure our salvation. Then He protects his children from the “wolves and thieves” who attempt to steal away believers in Christ to some other belief system or lead them on paths that would cause their relationship with Jesus to be weakened or even destroyed. Our responsibility is to stay close to the Shepherd, listen to His voice, obey what He teaches us, and become wise to those who would distort the truth of God’s Word and deceive us.

Until next Sunday,


[i] John 10:7-10
[ii] John 10:3-5
[iii] John 10:11-16

Spiritual Sunday
Continue Reading....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two Years Blogging + Free Gift

Can you believe that Take Six is 2 years old today!  We sure can't.  We are having so much fun sharing tablescapes, Take 5 with Kathy, recipes, inspirations, and part of our lives with you all. 

We truly value our readers.  Let's face it, without readers a blog just...isn't!!  So, to show our appreciation to you, we have a little "thank you for reading" gift.  

Nicole designed this poster for you to print off as an 8x10. Or upload it to your favorite print company and let them do the work!  She has also made it available to download as an inspirational desktop wallpaper.

Photobucket Click for the 8x10!

Printed on matte photo paper.

Desktop Wallpaper:

1024x768  |  1280x800 |  1280x1024  |   1440x900

If you have been a Take Six reader over these past two years, please leave us a comment letting us know.  We love to hear from you!  We would be honored if you followed our blog.  You can follow us via Facebook, Google Friends Connect, Linky Followers, Networked Blogs or Google +.    

We are sending a heartfelt thank you for your support, encouragement, inspiration, comments, and friendship over the past two years.  The future looks exciting for Take Six, and we would love to have you along with us for the ride!!

Lisa, Tanya, Kathy, Nicole, Paula

Open House
Kristens Creations
Stuff & Nonsense
Strut Your Stuff
Seasonal Sunday
Creative Me
Summer Fun Party
Continue Reading....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

'In the Garden' Tablescape

Since the vegetable garden is all in, and up, I have been concentrating on my annuals and perennials this week.  I enjoy annuals on our back deck area.  It feels like "decorating the room".  The process of weeding the perennial garden is still...well...a process.  But I stopped long enough yesterday to set a gardening tablescape beside the garden. 


The purple lupins have just begun their performance.  There are many buds still to open, so I believe this will be their best season yet.


Burlap wrap is a natural runner for a garden themed table.


Gardening tools are ideal for a simple centerpiece. The brown decoration was made by my son when he was very small.  It is a fossil of fern leaves made in Plaster of Paris.  It says, "MOM from Bradley".  Such a treasure to me.  Get out those treasure and enjoy them.  Use them in your tablescapes and decorating.  


A simple stack of three plates.  All from the thrift store.  


I picked these salt and pepper shakers up at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  You have seen them before HERE and HERE.  I'm sure you will see them again. I just love them.  Everyone needs birds in their garden!


These sweet little napkin rings were a gift from my sister, Lisa.  The set of four watering cans are all different.  


My chive plant is looking beautiful.  You can see it just beyond the lupins in the next picture.  I harvested and preserved some last fall for the winter.  See how!!



Think outside of the box (or vase) when you are looking for a vase for flowers.  Anything that can hold water, or is large enough to hold a glass of water, can be used to display your flowers.  Both this watering can and old kettle have a glass of water down inside them.  The kettle has a hole in the bottom!!   ;)



Thank you for visiting with us today.

Please come back on THURSDAY.
It is our 2nd Blogiversary, 
Continue Reading....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "The purses of heaven..."

I came across this interesting phrase on Friday when I was continuing my study of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Now, I’m not much into purses like some of you ladies might be. Sure, I have a cupboard in my bedroom closet with several purses in it, but most of them are impractical for my needs and one might see the light of day for a special occasion. But I tend to find an everyday purse I really like and use it until it starts falling apart. Case in point…

I remember back in the spring of 2008 when my husband and I were on a trip to Vienna. He had been searching almost a year for one of his favorite watches and had pretty much given up on ever finding it. When we arrived at our hotel, I was emptying my purse to reorganize it and was puzzled by an object hidden in the recesses of the purse. Suddenly, I realized there was a small hole in the lining of an inside pocket and you guessed it – out fell his watch! It had been there since another trip ten months before when I had put it in the zippered pocket for safekeeping. My, how we laughed and laughed – the other hotel guests must have wondered what was so hilarious!

The title phrase comes from Luke 12:33-34, “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will be also.” (NLT) A parallel passage is found in Matthew 6:19-21.

The idea behind Jesus’ teaching is for us to remember all that we have comes from Him. It all really belongs to Him; we are the trustees of what He has given us to provide for our needs and to enjoy. If I recognize this, my attitude should be one of sharing from what God has entrusted to me in order to help meet the needs of others. The material possessions I have here in this life are really temporary, easily break down or are destroyed. Why should I care so much about them anyhow? It really made me think about the things I own – my home, my car, my furniture, my clothes, my property, my library of books, my jewelry, my various collections…

So often I attach such personal or sentimental value on the things I have – not that it’s wrong to do so; it’s quite normal. However, I believe God wants me to think of these things in the light of eternal values – how can I use these possessions to bring glory to God? How can I ensure I don’t get so wrapped up in loving the things I have that they become lost or hidden in some pocket or cavity in the purse of my day-to-day life and serve no lasting purpose?

I guess it can be as simple as…opening our home every Thursday evening for a Bible study/prayer group…hosting our friends (and former pastor) last weekend while they enjoyed visiting with us and several other friends plus attending a wedding…offering rides to those who need transportation to church, appointments, the grocery store…bagging up clothes I no longer use and donating them to a local charity…becoming friends with our neighbors, trying to live a godly life before them, and lending a helpful hand whenever it is needed…giving away other items I really don’t need to someone who would really appreciate them. When I do these things willingly, allowing God to remove selfishness and greed, I discover such joy in the giving. Knowing it pleases God brings pleasure and satisfaction to my heart. It really is true – whatever I treasure will become the desire of my heart!

I was also thinking about what else I treasure that has lasting and eternal value – my marriage to my best friend, spending quality time with my family (such as the special time I had with my son the other day as I drove him home after his university classes – since he’s married now, I really treasure the times we do have together), my friendships, enjoying walks in our beautiful city and appreciating the nature that reminds me of God’s amazing handiwork and power, communing with God in such a personal and meaningful way and knowing He loves me unconditionally, serving God with the abilities and giftedness He has given to me, appreciating living in a country where I am free to believe as I do and share my beliefs with others, using my time to encourage someone else who is struggling in some way…

Lord Jesus, help me to be more conscious of what I treasure and why I treasure it!

Until next Sunday,



Spiritual Sundays
Continue Reading....
Pin It button on image hover