Monday, July 7, 2014

Beets with Lemon Sauce

Some of the early spring garden plantings are ready to harvest.  My parents, who are always so generous with loading me up with goodies to take back home, gave me a sack full of fresh pickings from their garden.  Since they live 250 miles south of us, their gardens mature a few weeks earlier than ours do in Minnesota.  So I was very happy to get all these fresh, organic veggies to take back for the family.

As a kid, I was not a fan AT ALL of beets.  They gave me the shudders, in fact.  But, as I tell my boys, your taste buds change over time, so you really should give those foods you turned your nose up to when younger another chance.  And if you still don't like them, keep trying them.  Sometimes our taste buds need to be retrained to like different flavors.  In the case of beets, it is worth your while to retrain those taste buds if you still say "no thank you" when they are offered to you.  

Beets are one of nature's super foods.  They are packed full of vital nutrition, phytochemicals,  and cancer-zapping power.  They are loaded with natural nitrates which open and expand the body's blood vessels allowing more oxygen, nutrients, and energy to surge throughout your body.  These red beauties can help you retain youthful skin with fewer wrinkles.  They keep your blood pressure in check and counteract heart disease, diabetes, and a slew of other serious diseases.

To fix beets, you do have to take a few precautions to avoid a mess.  If cut into, they can bleed their red juice all over, and it will stain your clothing.

Do not wash the beets until you are ready to prepare them.  Cut the stems 2" from the base.  Do not cut the tails, or bottoms, off.  Leave the skin intact.

Their are different ways to fix beets, but today I boiled them.

Fill a pan with enough water to cover the beets and gently boil the beets until tender, about 50 minutes.  Do not overcook the beets to avoid excessive loss of nutritional value.

Once the beets are cooked, they should peel easily under running cold water.  Cut or pull the stems and tail off.  Now they are ready to be sliced and diced before adding the sauce.

I made the lemon sauce while the beets were cooking.  The sauce is white, but once mixed with the beets it will turn red.

You could add some fresh herbs to this.  I'm thinking dill would have been a great thing to stir in.  That is on my list of things to try next time.

These beets are all ready for the dinner table.  You can serve them hot or cold, but I prefer them cold.  That makes for easy leftovers!  

If you have never been a fan of beets, I hope I have encouraged you to give them another try.  There are many ways to fix beets, so if one recipe doesn't meet your fancy, switch to a different way to prepare them and perhaps they will be more palatable to you.  Beets are just too nutritious to pass up.

Even more than God's power foods He has provided for us, we need to eat daily from His word and drink often from the wells of His salvation.  The Bible says in Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!"

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Coffered Ceiling Project

After six months of sawdust, tools laying around, and general disarray in our office, our new coffered ceiling is FINISHED!!!  We are so happy with it!  It certainly was a lot of work for my husband, but he did a fantastic job with near perfection at every joint.  He is such a talented man!

Screwing the first board up committed us to this project!  You can see the chalk marks my husband put up to guide him where the boards would be going.

This ceiling is made of oak and we stained it to match the woodwork in our house.  

The recessed lighting was something we went back and forth on as to whether to put it in or not.  I am so glad we did, since it adds so much beauty to the ceiling, and gives so much better lighting in the room.

We all signed our names in the structural part which was later hidden by the oak.  Maybe someday someone will find it. We like to leave little hidden messages when possible in building projects.

My husband says there is about 500 pounds of wood hanging up on the ceiling now, so he had to secure it well.  

I love the way our office looks now.  It makes it a very cozy, inviting place to work.

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