Category Archives: Food for thought



Matthew 6:25-34
[Do Not Worry ] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …


Remember the Garden boxes I taught how to build this spring in the attempt at being able to have a more plentiful garden. Well it worked great! No more dealing with Clay! It was such a hit that my husband and I are planning on building 2 more for next year. We need more room for more produce.

I however did not have enough tomatoes this year to do any canning from our garden this year. This little adventure sure has been a work in progress. Maybe next year!

Fun Fact: Raised beds yield up to four times more than the same amount of space planted in rows. That’s due not only to their loose, fertile soil but also to efficient spacing—by using less space for paths, you have more room to grow plants.


Our soil was new this year so I thought it might be fun to talk about amending your soil for fall so that the nutrients will have a chance to work its magic for spring planting.


Work the soil to prepare it for planting.  Clear out all the dead plants from this season harvest. Using a trowel or shovel, move the soil while it is dry. Working with wet soil will make it difficult to move and aerate, and it will stick to your tools. If soil pH conditions aren’t ideal for growing tomato plants, add fertilizer to prepare your soil for planting.


Supplement the soil. Apply peat moss, compost or manure (humus) to the soil to improve its quality. Mix in small amounts of any or each of these components as you dig and mix your soil prior to planting. The richer the soil, the better the growing conditions.


Know the acidity of your soil. Soil kits can be purchased on line or in your local hardware store for as little as $15.00 dollars. It certainly helps to know what type of soil you have and what you can do to enhance it so that it produces a better crop. PH, Acidity and Alkalinity play a large roll in having good fertile soil.


Acidity and Alkalinity

The acidity or alkalinity of soil is measured by its pH. Neutral soil has a pH of about 6.5, while anything higher is alkaline and anything lower is acidic. Green beans grow best in neutral or near-neutral soil, though they can tolerate a pH anywhere between 5.5 and 7.5. If necessary, you can raise the pH of your garden soil by incorporating ground agricultural limestone or one of several other liming products. You can lower the pH by adding elemental sulfur or a fertilizer containing ammonium sulfate.


Know your crop. Not all crops want the same soil. I am planning on do some investigative work and designate each raised bed for different crops. For instance tomatoes like a loamy fertile soil while Green beans like a Neutral soil.


So get out there and clean out the last of your crop. Enhance your soil. I am planning on tarping my raised beds over to keeps weeds and leaves out. I am hoping it will leave me a really nice pallet to start seeds in next spring.


Have a great week my ladies!  Mischele Makhlouf


Easy Rustic Plum Tart


maria wolffeThese lovely tarts became popular a few years ago; and I have always wanted to make one.  I like them because, one, you only use one sheet of pie dough so the tart doesn’t have so many calories.  Two, I love the way the dough enfolds the fruit, almost like a hug. (We all like hugs, right?)  And three, I love the way the fruit looks peeking out from the crust, it looks so inviting you want to grab a fork and dig right in!  This is also a low fat dish because it uses only 1 egg white and 3 T. plus 1 t. of coarse sugar; so is a good choice for people that are watching their waistlines. This is a great light summer dessert for your family or even for company; all you would have to do dress it up with whipped cream.  This dessert is sure to win you oohs and ahhs from your guests!


Diff: Easy  Prep: 15 min  Bake: 20-25 min  Serves: 8




Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches

3-½ c. sliced unpeeled fresh plums

3 T + 1 t coarse sugar, divided

1 T. cornstarch

1 egg white

1 T water




  • Heat oven to 400 °.

  • Roll pastry into a 12 inch circle and transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


  • In a large bowl, combine plums, 3 T. of coarse sugar and cornstarch; mix well to coat.



  • Arrange plums in a pinwheel pattern over pastry to within 2 inches of edges.


  • Fold edges of pastry over plums. Beat egg white with 1 T water and brush over pastry.  Sprinkle edges with 1 t. coarse sugar.



  • Bake at 400 ° for 20-25 minutes or until crust is a light golden color.


  • Enjoy!


This is so incredibly easy I don’t know why I didn’t try to make one before.  Now that plums are in season, I’ll have to make another one!  The one pictured above didn’t last but a day!

I hope you’ll try to make one of these soon. They look so elegant; your guests will think you fussed for hours !  However, this is so much easier than making a regular pie, I might never go back and make another!  (NOT!)


Until next week, wishing you and yours all of God’s blessings, Good Health and Happy Eating!


Smiles, Maria



Lemony Blueberry Ricotta Poundcake


maria wolffeThis delicious pound cake was another item I made to use up the ricotta cheese I had in my refrigerator after it failed earlier this month.  I also had lots of blueberries and lemons, so I combined all three flavors, resulting in this moist and delicous cake. This would be lovely to serve as an easy dessert for informal get together’s with friends or family, or you can dress it up with whipped cream and extra blueberries to make it a little fancier for a more formal dinner. However you choose to serve it, this will keep well in your refrigerator for several weeks.

*Make sure that you have the eggs, ricotta cheese and butter at room temperature when you make this. To bring the eggs to room temperature quickly, place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. The leavening in this recipe comes from the eggs and the baking powder, so make sure your baking powder is fresh (less than six months old).

Diff: Easy Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1 hr. 5 min. Serves: 10-12


  • 1 ¾ c. all purpose flour – (250 g)
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. kosher salt
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese (8 oz./230 g)
  • 1 ½ c. sugar (300 g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-4 T. lemon zest (I used 4 T.)
  • 1 cup (or more) fresh blueberries (5 oz./140 g)


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (160 C). Prepare a 9X5 loaf pan, either spray inside with cooking spray or smear with butter.


  • In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and kosher salt together well.


  • Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, ricotta, and sugar.


  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium speed for one minute after each addition.

  • Mix in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled at this point; it really isn’t!


  • Stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions to bowl of wet ingredients, until just incorporated. Do not overmix! Stir in the blueberries.



  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.


  • Place on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack. This will regulate the temperature on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. For the last 10 minutes of baking, you might want to put a sheet of aluminum foil over top of cake to prevent excessive browning.
  • Remove from oven when done and let cool 15 minutes in the pan. The run a dull knife around edge of cake to make sure it is seperated from pan. Gently remove cake and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Isn’t this one of the most cheerful pound cakes you’ve ever seen? Did I mention that a slice of this can serve as a quick breakfast when you’re on the run? (OK, I know it’s not the healthy thing to have, but …) And just try a slice it toasted in a toaster oven! Even better with just a bit of butter on it!

May you and yours enjoy some of this luscious lemony pound cake soon! Until next week, wishing you and your family all of God’s blessings, good health and happy eating!

Smiles, Maria



Eccl 3 11

Remember today in your worries and in your failures, in your messes and in your disappointments, that God has your back! Regardless of what tragic circumstances you may be experiencing right now at this moment in your life, you can trust in His promise that He will make it all BEAUTIFUL in its time! Draw closer…closer than you have ever dared before, and accept His comfort, His provision, His love and His promises. You won’t be sorry!

Has God made lemonade out of a lemon in your life?  Please share and encourage others to hang on to the promises.

Soli Deo Gloria!


It’s celebration time for me!  I have been accepted to contribute to a devotional book called “Penned from the heart”. This year is its 20th edition, and I am honored to be a part of the team. Books will be available for advance purchase on Friday at my personal blog -  they are at the publishers as we speak and should be delivered in October.  We will have a special price for those who order an advanced copy. This special price will be available till the end of september only. Leave a comment if you think that you will be interested in purchasing this book!  Blessings to you all! L



…in God’s provision for you; for He loves you most dearly.

psalm 132Provision

God’s provision for us can materialize in our lives in many ways.

sometimes it is a job…

……………often times it is help, as in a friend who can lighten our load.

Many times it will simply be encouragement to move on from a place you have found yourself.

Today, let’s look for God’s provision in the little things!

I would love to hear how He is providing for you today ~ Leave a comment to encourage others!

Solei Deo Gloria!