Monday, June 29, 2020

Changes at Homespun Devotions, BOOK REVIEWS, & Frugality in the Kitchen

"The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
Titus 2:3-5

Today, from the midst of the heartache going on in my family, I have some good tidbits of news to share, but first I want to let you know that my nephew, Brian has been moved to a hospice facility.  They are keeping him comfortable, and the family has spoken their good-byes.  How long Brian will tarry in this condition is in the hands of our just and loving God.  Our hearts are broken, and we lean upon the Lord for strength and grace.  Even in the face of all that is happening, I am STILL holding out hope that God will perform a miracle, and Brian will wake up.  Please do continue to remember my family in prayer.  Your loving thoughts, friendship, and prayers mean more than I could ever say.

~ Changes here on the blog ~

You may have noticed that I have pulled nearly all of the content down from the Homespun Devotions archives.  It will no longer be available here because I am in the midst of a new and exciting project—a long-awaited dream!  Now that I have walked through the grueling experience of independently publishing our book, Biblical Minimalism, and I believe by God's help and grace I can do it again, I am compiling devotional content that He has inspired me with over the years into a book!  A homespun devotional tapestry that will be interwoven with inspirational thoughts, some of my original poetry, and new material that He is streaming into me along the way.

When I first started this blog, I had a dream of writing a devotional book.  Recently, the Lord brought to my attention that this is exactly what I have been doing over the past almost nine years!  As I have been writing the devotionals He has been inspiring me to share here, I have been writing that devotional book.  

I apologize if there are certain articles you have become accustomed to referring to here on the blog that will no longer be accessible to you, but if you can bear with me, Lord willing and somewhere down the road, you may just be able to refer to them forever by way of a book you can hold in your hand!

What I will leave accessible here on the site are all the Inner Views interviews I have conducted over the years, all of the guest posts that some of you have so kindly provided, and a select few of my own devotionals scattered here and there.  (I also have a very exciting NEW upcoming Inner Views interview that I can't wait to share with you soon!)


Book Reviews of our new book are happening!
OH, it has been an exciting time for us, and how grateful we are to our beloved launch team!  Some of the launch team members have already finished reading the book, and we could not be more grateful for their beautiful reviews.  We are looking forward to all the upcoming reviews, also, and hope to be able to share them with you here soon!

Click on the links below to read what the launch team members are saying!

Shirley at "A Word Fitly Spoken"

Karen at "Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge"

Martha at "Meditations of My Heart"

Deborah at "The Beautiful Matters"

If you would like to order your own copy of our book, just click HERE!

Moving forward in the spirit of Titus 2, I felt led to share some of the lessons on frugality the dear Lord has taught me throughout many years of marriage.  It was fun writing this "new-direction" post!

Being married for 32 years is such a gift on so many levels.  Staying with the same man, loving him wholeheartedly, knowing what he likes and enjoys, sharing such a long history together —it all adds up to this wife feeling so, so blessed.  Kevin and I give ALL glory to God for the precious life and deeply meaningful marriage He has blessed us with, and my heart is humbled and beyond grateful that I get to walk through life with this amazing man.  The fact that God sent us a dear son of our own to raise together and love is a treasure the two of us will never be able to praise God enough for —how we thank HIM.  He has been so faithful to us, and it would take at least 32 years for me to sit down and tell you of the many answers to prayer and manifold blessings He has poured and continues to pour out upon us every, single day.

One thing I've learned over these 32 years of marriage is how to be frugal in the kitchen, and one of the neatest ways that allows me to call forth my creative side is by challenging myself with making meals that will feed us for more than one meal.  The goal is to always stay in competition with myself to see just how many meals one dish can stretch into!  😂

Upon leaving a comment over at Deborah's blog, "The Beautiful Matters" (by the way, I love, love, LOVE her blog ~ you should check it out and subscribe - she published a beautiful book review of our book today ~ you can read it HERE), it came to my mind that I should share here what I was sharing in that comment.  So, here goes!

First, though - I'm sorry I am not one of those super-talented foodie bloggers.  I have no photos of the food to show, but I can promise you that these recipes work, they will stretch your grocery dollar until it screams, and you will hear lots of "mmms" and see smiling faces at your supper table!

One of the ways I cook something that stretches into feeding our family of three for nearly a week is by starting out with cooking a HUGE pork roast in the crock pot.  

I season the outside of the pork roast with my "go-to" seasoning combination.  I use this blend for SO many recipes.  Here are the stars of the show:

Seasoned Salt 
(I used to only buy Lawry's, but I have found that the Aldi brand is just as good and usually less expensive.)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Black Pepper

I will also sometimes add paprika or even steak seasoning, (depending on what I am cooking) to this "go-to" seasoning.

So, after I rub the outside of the pork roast with the above seasoning combination, I put it in the crock pot (fat-side down), and I take the handle of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the roast, making sure to twist the spoon handle to make the holes bigger.

Next is where an amazing secret comes in concerning cooking a pork roast!! 

The liquid I pour over and around the pork roast is ~ not water, but apple juice!
The apple juice permeates down into the holes and flavors the pork as it cooks, and oh, my!
Let me just say that it takes this already delicious dish to a whole new level.
It also makes your gravy a beautiful golden color and gives it a distinctive flavor.  (recipe below)

Meal #1 from cooked Pork Roast

~ Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Corn, and Green Beans ~

After the roast is done, remove the meat from the crock pot, leaving the broth behind.
Cut the meat into servings and place it on a pretty meat platter.
Strain the broth by putting a colander over a large bowl and pouring the broth from the crock pot into the colander, making sure to sift out everything but the luscious, rich broth.  Set the strained bowl of broth aside.

Then, make homemade gravy, just like this:

Start out by melting one stick of butter in a large saucepan.
To the butter, add some flour to make a nice, rich roux ~
(sorry, I don't have the exact measurement on the flour - I use the old-timey Tupperware scoops, and it usually takes about 2 to 3 of those heaping scoops to one stick of butter.  The general rule for a roux is equal parts fat and flour.)
To the roux, add the "go-to" seasoning mix above (to taste) and stir the butter, flour, and seasonings together until everything is smooth.
Then, pour the entire bowl of broth into the roux and stir vigorously.  You will want to have your heat up pretty high during this process.  Let it bubble, and stir continually until the mixture starts to look like real, homemade gravy.  Oh, my goodness!  This is SUCH good gravy!  It thickens to a beautiful texture, and the taste is just amazing!  If any remaining lumps bother you, you can use an immersion blender to break them up.  (I LOVE my immersion blender!)

For this meal, I also make homemade mashed potatoes, canned corn seasoned with butter, and 2 cans of green beans.  I pour the 2 cans of green beans into a pot, add two beef boullion cubes, and let them cook until all the water is cooked off (about 10 minutes or so).

After this original pork roast meal, the creative fun begins!  From that leftover pork roast, the following recipes spring forth!

Meal #2 from cooked Pork Roast

~ Open-faced Pork Roast Sandwiches ~

Toast two pieces of bread, while heating a portion of pork roast and gravy, separately, in microwave.
Butter the toast, then layer the pork roast on the buttered toast.
Pour the warm gravy over the open-faced sandwich.

Serve with some of the leftover mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans, if desired.

Meal #3 from cooked Pork Roast

~ Pork Ranch Barbecue Nachos ~

Cool Ranch Doritoes
Shredded Cheese
Can of Chili Beans, heated
(I pulverized the beans with an immersion blender as I heated them, but you could also smash them with a fork or potato masher.  Chili beans are what we had on hand, but you could also use refried beans or some other type of canned beans.)
Leftover Pork Roast, reheated
Diced Tomatoes
Sour Cream
Ranch Dressing
Barbecue Sauce
Diced Onions (if desired)

Spread a layer of Cool Ranch Doritoes on a dinner plate.
Spread shredded cheese over the Doritoes.
Spread warm chili beans over cheese.
Spread warm pork roast over beans.
Shred another layer of cheese on top of the pork roast.
Top with diced tomatoes, dollops of sour cream, onions (if desired).
Squirt ranch dressing in a criss-cross pattern over the top.
Squirt barbecue sauce in a criss-cross pattern over the ranch dressing.

You could also add jalapeno peppers, black olives, pico de gallo, salsa, or any other toppings you'd like.

Meal #4 from cooked Pot Roast

~ Barbecue Pork Sandwiches ~

Leftover Pork Roast
Barbecue Sauce of your choice
Hamburger Buns
Bag of Cole Slaw 
(Pre-shredded mixture of cabbage & carrots.  We always put ours through our chopper to blend extra-fine.)


Heat leftover pork roast in a saucepan & slather with barbecue sauce while heating.
Butter top and bottom of each bun and brown in a skillet, butter-size down.
Assemble sandwiches by placing a portion of barbecue pork on each bottom bun, then topping meat with cole slaw.  (Recipe below.)

Cole Slaw

Place shredded cabbage mixture in bowl.
Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar in small bowl.
(I apologize that I do not measure.  I just put about 2-3 large dollops of mayonnaise in a bowl, with a dash of vinegar, and about 2-3 teaspoons of sugar.  I keep stirring and taste-testing and adding sugar/vinegar it until it tastes "right" to me.  😕
I know ~ but this is the country way of doing things and the way Mom taught me to cook!)
Pour mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar dressing over the cabbage, and voila!  You have cole slaw!

Note:  This slaw is SO good - it takes me back to when I was growing up and Mom, Dad, and I would go into country restaurants and they would serve cole slaw with Captain's Wafers crackers before the meal.  Does anyone else remember that?  

Meal #5 from cooked Pork Roast

~ Cold Pork Roast Sandwiches ~

Slather a slice of bread with mayonnaise and pepper.
Place cold pork roast on bread, and top with second slice.
Yummy and so, so simple.

Meal # 6 from cooked Pork Roast

~ Must Go Soup ~

Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
Pork Roast
Half & Half
Any other leftover cooked veggies from refrigerator
You can also add any canned veggies that don't require a long cooking time

Dump all into a large pan and heat slowly.  When meat and veggies are warm, top everything with Half & Half until all is covered to a creamy, liquid consistency.  The leftover mashed potatoes and gravy give this soup an amazingly rich base that morphs into a delicious, velvety soup.

Again, I wish I had taken photos of all of this at each step, but I failed to do so.  I was too busy enjoying the process of creating wonderful things for my little family to eat.  
I hope you can find something in this post that will spark a new creative and very frugal adventure in your own kitchen cooking for the ones you love most in the world!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes!  May God bless you as you seek to steward wisely!


  1. Brian and indeed all the family remain in my prayers. It as a joy to know that you have had your book published embarking on a wonderful adventure. A joy to browse through the recipes.

    1. So thankful for your sweet visit and kind words and faithful prayers for Brian. God bless you!

  2. Cheryl, continued prayers for your family. How exciting that you are going to have another book, I can’t wait! Many blessings my friend!

    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend! Your encouragement and support means SO much to me. Many blessings being sent back to you!

  3. Brian and your whole family are in the tender care of Jesus. He is your comfort.

    How wonderful that you are going to put together another book. You sound so excited. God's continued blessings on you ~ FlowerLady

    1. Yes, what a comfort to know that we are all in the tender care of Jesus. Thank you for that precious reminder. May God's continued blessings remain upon you, too, my friend!

  4. Brian is in God’s hands, by I will continue to pray for him and your family.
    How wonderful to have another plan from God on starting another book! I also enjoyed reading your frugal recipes for the pork roast. I have used apple joyce and it is great!
    Blessings to you, friend.

    1. Yes, he is surely in God's hands. YES! I was so tickled when the Lord showed me to do this new book. It will definitely take a while to get it all done and organized and edited, but what a blessing to know most of the writing is already done! That is so neat that you have used apple juice in your pork roast. The Lord just brought that to me one time when I was putting a pork roast in the crock pot, and I have made it that way ever since. Now, if I use water, I miss that richness and distincive taste. So, so good. Many blessings to you, too, sweet friend! You will never know how much we appreciate your continued prayers for Brian.

  5. Will continue, of course, to lift Brian and the family in prayer, Cheryl.
    So exciting that you're planning to launch out with a new book!!! Glad all those years of writing your blog has paid off in such a marvelous way. And hands-down, you are the queen of the meal stretch! I must admit, I'm so grateful that Danny does all the cooking here. He's an amazing chef.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much for continuing to pray for Brian. Oh, we do appreciate it so very much! And, thank you for your kind words about the book project and the meal-stretching abilities! I love the new title "queen of the meal stretch!" That is so neat that Danny is your personal chef, and I am sure he does a great job. We are both so very blessed! Many blessings being sent back your way, my friend!

  6. I will continue to pray for Brian and for all of you. <3

    All of those pork roast recipes sound amazing! I would like every one of those meals. That is awesome that you are writing another book. A devotional seems like a really good "fit" for you. And thank you dear Cheryl for your kind words about my blog.

    1. Thank you ever so much for your continued prayers for Brian. OH, we do appreciate those prayers! Thank you so much for your encouragement, friendship, and support on these book journeys. It truly means so much to me! You are so welcome for the words - you are SO deserving of them. May the Lord bless you, sweet friend.

  7. I am continuing to pray for Brian and your whole family. May Jesus be so very near to you.

    What exciting news about changes to your blog and another book coming together! Praise God! I'm so blessed as I am reading through your first book. Blessings, and love to you dear friend!

    1. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your dear prayers, dear friend. Oh, I am so glad the book is a blessing to you! That made my night to read that. Many blessings and much love being sent back to you and trusting Jesus you are feeling better and the side effects are over for you. I am praying for you.

  8. I'm also praying that Brian will wake up. I'm excited for your new book!

    1. Oh, sweet friend! How grateful we would be if only he would wake up! I keep thinking how Lazarus was dead for four days, and all it took was one call from Jesus for him to come out of that grave, alive and well. What it would be like to see a miracle like that today! Can you imagine? He is the same today as He was then, and His power is not diminished, neither is His arm shortened. I'm excited about the new book prospect, too! As I look at it all, it is a huge undertaking, but God will make a way in His timing and will. Many blessings to you!

  9. Hello Dear Friend, I continue to lift Brian up in prayer knowing that God can do a new thing if it is His will. Praying also for comfort for his mom and for all of you during this incredibly difficult time.

    How exciting! Your devotional posts have been such a blessing, how much more will a book with a collection of those devotions be!

    Thanks so much for sharing these delicious recipes! Talk about getting much use out of one piece of meat! ;-)

    Sending you much love,

    1. Thank you ever so much, dear friend. Your prayers mean more than I could ever say! Yes, that is a lot of food to get out of one piece of meat! I love seeing how far I can make it stretch. Sending much love and gratitude back to you for your precious friendship and support.

  10. I am so excited for you and your new adventure on writing a devotional! I am loving "Biblical Minimalism" and am certainly looking forward to reading your devotional. And thank you for sharing the yummy recipes!

    You and your family are in my prayers!


    1. Thank you so very much, dear Annie. Your kind words about our book and your prayers and friendship mean so much! Much love being sent back to you tonight, sweet friend.