Baba Ganoush Lebanese Dip

20170901_141333My sister brought over 2 eggplants yesterday, what to do? Baba Ganoush, of course!

Ingredients

2 small eggplants
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or juice of 2 lemons.
3 Garlic cloves, roasted or sauteed in olive oil, you can use 1 fresh clove of garlic but I prefer garlic cooked.
1/3 c. tahini (butter made from sesame seeds)
1 t. sea salt
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
Some parsley leaves, finely chopped (optional)
Some mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)

Cut the eggplants in half and salt, let stand 1/2 hour to an hour. Wipe the salt and “sweat” away with a paper towel. This is a technique to remove bitterness but some think it is unnecessary. Place eggplants flesh side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake 425 degrees for 25-30 min. until fully cooked and soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

Place eggplants flesh side down on greased cookie sheet. Bake 425 degrees for 25-30 min. until fully cooked and soft. Remove from oven and let cool.

Scrap all the eggplant from its skin, discard the skin.

I use my Ninja Food Processor to blend the eggplant with the other above ingredients.

Serve as a dip with pita bread. For an extra treat, brush both sides of each pita with olive oil. Heat 1 pita at a time in a skillet or grill, for about 2 minutes on each side, until it is nicely browned, cut into wedges.

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Mexican Salad

Makes 4 servings

15-ounce can garbanzo beans
15-ounce can black beans
15-ounce can of corn drained, or cup of frozen corn thawed.
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 cups chopped salad greens
1 Mango diced
1/2 cup Mango Salsa

Rinse the beans and corn with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, toss. Dress the salad with the olive oil and lime juice and Mango Salsa.

Roasted Cauliflower

This is an easy recipe, it’s so easy I’m sure I cannot claim it as my own.

1 head of cauliflower, cut up into florets.

In a bowl, toss with olive oil and parmesan cheese. Add whatever spice you like or just salt and pepper, I used coriander in my first batch. I did not add amounts to this recipe because they can vary based on taste and size of your head of cauliflower.

Bake at 350 on a cookie sheet until it starts to brown, about 20 – 25 min.

To serve, I drizzled mine with a good balsamic vinegar.  YUM!

Pumpkin Soup

P10206632  14 oz.cans pumpkin puree
1 T coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large sweet apple, cored and cut into chunks
1 clove garlic
2 T shredded or shaved coconut
1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t nutmeg
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in coconut oil. Puree broth, onion, apple, garlic, coconut until smooth.

Place puree and other ingredients in a stock pot and simmer for 20 min.
option: for a sweeter soup add a tablespoon or two of sugar.

Garnish with parsley leaf, pumpkin seeds or coconut shavings.

Harvest Minestrone

Saute:
2 T. olive oil
2 large onions (large dice)
4 celery stalks (large dice)
4 carrots (sliced)
Add:
1 lb. Italian sausage (cooked and sliced) (pork, turkey, or chicken)
3 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
4 chopped tomatoes or (1) 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 quart chicken stock
1 quart of water
3 small zucchini (medium dice)
1 15 oz. can Cannellini beans or kidney beans
handful of fresh basil leaves (chopped)
1 T. fresh parsley (chopped)
Simmer for 30 min.
Add 5 minutes before you are ready to serve:
2 cups of fresh baby spinach (chopped)
2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
salt and pepper to taste
Simmer for 5 minutes
Top with:
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Serve with salad and an artisan bread or garlic bread.

Serves 8

Psalm 91 Verse 1

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

I used to read this scripture and wonder, “How do you get in the secret place?” “Do you have to be good enough?” “Am I in the secret place?” “Where is this secret place?”

Oh my, have you ever had any of these thoughts? Do you include yourself or disqualify yourself when you read this? As we go through this Psalm verse by verse, we will be looking at correlating scriptures to increase our understanding and answer these questions.

There are two words in Psalm 91 verse 1 that indicate this is a permanent place of residence, abide and dwell. This is not some place where we move in and out of. This is where we reside, where we live, where our home is.

To truly understand scripture we must get a clear picture of what we are hearing or reading. Many people think the things of God are so abstract; they don’t have a clear picture in their heart or mind of what they are hearing or reading. They don’t SEE it, worse yet, they don’t see themselves in the scriptures. To truly meditate on God’s Word, we must get understanding. Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Understanding comes from the Spirit of God, He is our teacher. Revelation does not come from mental reasoning; it comes to us in our spirit.

Let’s pray together, Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask you to open our hearts to see and understand your Word by the power of the Holy Spirit as we go through this teaching. Amen.

As we start our journey and discover where the secret place is; we will see where God Himself has placed us. We will get a bigger picture from the word of God of the secret place.

Psalm 31:20 tells us, “You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence; From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion; From the strife of tongues.” This psalm describes the secret place as the presence of God, a secret shelter, a place where the spirit of strife can’t find me.

Song of Solomon 2:14 tells us it is a place of fellowship.

Sos 2:14 “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”

In this verse, God is asking us to come into the secret place where He can hear our voice and see our face. It is a place of intimate fellowship. Mat 6:6 also speaks of a place of intimate fellowship in the secret place. It is the place where we talk with God.

Mat 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”

Isa 45:3 tells us there are riches in the secret place.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places
That you may know that I, the LORD,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.”

Isaiah 49:2 tells us God causes us to be mighty warriors in the secret place.

Isa 49:2 And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword;
In the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me,
And made Me a polished shaft;
In His quiver He has hidden Me.”

When I speak His Word, it is a sharp and polished weapon against the enemy. It is a weapon of accuracy that hits its target like a lightning strike. The secret place of the Most High is truly a glorious place to be, the devil cannot even find you in the secret place of the Most High God. He doesn’t know our strategy. He doesn’t know where we are.

There are even more scriptures we could go over but I will close today’s entry with Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

One of the reasons the enemy cannot find us in the secret place is this is where by faith we have been crucified with Christ and our life is hidden in Him!

By faith we are living In Him; living in the finished work of the cross; abiding in Christ is the secret place. It is a place where we completely trust in God and receive freely His grace and salvation.

Praise the Lord for His goodness!

Psalm 91 Verse 2

Psalm 91:2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

In Psalm 91, verse 2, we enter the secret place  by declaring, “Lord, You are my refuge, You are my fortress, You are my God, I put my trust in You.”

Faith is released when we speak it, see 2 Corinthians 4:13 “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;” Pray it, Declare it, Speak it aloud. Allow the Word to do the work.

To experience the benefits God has provided, we must receive them by faith. Let’s look at faith. What is your picture of faith? Have you ever thought, “I must not have enough faith?” That is an enemy trick to disqualify you. It’s really not about having enough faith, it’s about using the faith that God has given you already. We are not the source of our faith, it is not something we muster up, we do not manufacture our own faith.

Rom 12:3 tells us, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

By declaring, “The Lord is my refuge and my fortress; my secret place”, you are exercising the faith that God has given you. You are making a decision to believe the Word of God.

It is only by faith can we enter the secret place of the Most High. There is no amount of our goodness or good works that will open the door to the secret place; Jesus is the door. He is our righteousness.

Phil 3:9 tells us our righteousness comes from God, “..not having mine own righteousness, which is of the works of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

When Jesus was getting ready to ascend to heaven He told His disciples that He would not leave them orphaned but that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to be with us, to empower us to do the same things that He did on earth and more. One of the missions of the Holy Spirit is to be our teacher, our guide, He is to lead us into all truth.

1 Cor 2:12 tells us, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

In Psalm 91, the Spirit of God is revealing to us that the secret place has been freely given to us. “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” We choose to be in the secret place when we release our faith in what Jesus has done for us, when we declare that the Lord is our hiding place, our strong tower, our fortress, a refuge of safety.