This is our journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matthew 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: book reviews

Cookbook Review: “Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family”

Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family Book

Our dear friend and neighbor, Shannon has released yet another really great cookbook: “Traditional Meals for the Frugal Family: Delicious, Nourishing Recipes for Less.”

A little background…I have known Shannon and her growing family for, wow, going on 10-plus years now. I have great respect for her as a Mom, wife, friend and sister in Christ. All of her cookbooks have been written as a result of looking to find ways to feed her family while meeting diet and financial restrictions, without skimping on quality or nutrition. She is MacGyver in the kitchen :))

Today’s western diet, as most everyone knows, is full of ingredients that, let’s face it, do not lend themselves to a strong, healthy body, especially growing children. Some cookbooks are very niche oriented, or “fru-fru” with ingredients. This cookbook is very mainstream, and anyone who buys it will truly benefit, in my opinion.

Shannon includes really great tried and tested information and tips all throughout, and the recipes are easy to understand and made with healthy, yet, very obtainable ingredients. On a side note, the pictures alone will make your mouth water, and I believe Shannon took all of the photos herself. The whole presentation is very classy.

The contents include a philosophical and real-life approach to “Making Traditional Foods Work on a Budget”, providing a sample weekly shopping budget and list, what to buy and why.

And the recipe sections include:

  • “Thrifty Mornings” (Soaked 100% Rolled Oat Pancakes, Greek Fauxgurt, Sweet Potato & Greens Breakfast Skillet, and much more!)
  • “Frugal Broth & Beans” (Soaked Grain-Free Garbanzo Bean Pizza Crust, Soaked Mexican Taco Pizza Bake, Real Food Copycat Tomato Soup, and much more!)
  • “Economical Pastured Proteins” (Tamale Pie, Crispy Oven-Baked Salmon Burgers, Spiced Thai Coconut Chicken, and much more!)
  • “Sensible Accompaniments” (Sheet Pan Hash Browns, Roasted Vegetables, Soaked Gluten-Free Artisan Bread, and much more!)
  • “Prudent Sweets & Treats” (Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie with a Grain-Free Crust, Soaked Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Raw or Dairy Free Mexican Sipping Chocolate, and much more!)
  • “Penny-Pinching DIY’s” (Broth-Based Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce, Better Sunflower Seed Butter, Easy and Traditional Homemade Corn Tortillas, and much more!)

Oh, my goodness, I wish my intermittent fast ended sooner than 2:00 pm today – this is making me hungry!!

Dave and I have been on the receiving end of some of Shannon’s recipe experiments in preparing for her cookbooks, and they have all been delicious. Shannon and her husband have six children, with another on the way!, and we are very blessed to know and love them.

I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone, especially if you are looking for ways to feed your spouse and family delicious, nutritious food on a budget, or just because the recipes are really cool on their own.


Book Review: The Doable Off-Grid Homestead

A family in our fellowship, the Stongers, has a new book coming out today, called The Doable Off-Grid Homestead.

We hear at times from people who really would like to get away from the rat-race and live in the country, homestead, raise animals, grow food, etc., but they lament just how daunting that whole idea is, especially if they are a little older. And that is sure understandable.

But it is doable! And the Stongers take you on their journey as they have worked on building a homestead, creatively, with reduced means, and in the unfriendly (sometimes hostile!) land and weather environments of central Texas.

Homesteading with few resources does take creativity, and God blessed the Stongers with that as He has guided them in the development of a homestead, with goats, a milk cow, chickens, gardens, orchard trees, solar power, catch-water systems, etc.

And now, their adventures, progressions, successes and missteps are documented in their new book. In it, they provide information about all sorts of off-grid homesteading topics, like rain harvesting, solar, land/soil, etc., and then provide practical and inexpensive ways to accomplish all of these various things, based on their own experiences, including materials lists and costs.

For example, they initially put up a fence around their main homestead environment made out of palettes, I think at least most of them being free, until such time they could put up something more permanent.

They are also planning on adding how-to video examples of these various homesteading subjects at their YouTube channel Doable Offgrid.

And even if you aren’t interested in homesteading, but, say, gardening, there is a wealth of information that could be beneficial to you too.

So, I would encourage everyone to consider getting a copy of The Doable Off-Grid Homestead and adding it to your collection!

— David