Sheila's Motto

"Endeavor to enhance the lives of others through education and encouragement."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~~ "Give Thanks"

Think about God’s wonderful gift of love,

Having sent Jesus, His only begotten Son.

Always rejoice with thanksgiving in your heart.

Never give up for He holds you safe in His arms.

Keep your eyes upon Jesus in the midst of the storm.

Stand strong in faith and give praise to our saving Lord.

Grant mercy and grace to others in their time of need.

Inspire others to reach out and be filled with His peace.

Value and treasure His gift of eternal life He freely gives.

Invite others to open their hearts to believe and receive.

Now and forever give God all the glory for all He has done.

Give thanks forevermore for His wonderful gift of love.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  All of us have so much for which to be thankful.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ Chorizo Empanadas

Excellent empanadas!  After making the meat and potato variety, we want to try our hand at creating some dessert ones next time around.


  • 2 1/4 cups white wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt, optional
  • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, diced into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar


  • Mix flour and salt together in a mixing bowl
  • Blend in butter with fork or pastry blender
  • Beat together egg, water and vinegar
  • Add to flour mixture and mix with fork
  • Turn onto lightly floured bread board or counter top
  • Knead a few times to blend dough
  • Form into a rectangle on a cookie sheet
  • Cover with plastic wrap
  • Chill dough in refrigerator


  • 1 lb. ground chorizos
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 medium sized yellow potatoes
  • 1 egg slightly beaten with 1 Tbsp. water


  • Brown ground chorizos with onions and garlic
  • Add red bell pepper and potatoes
  • Add spices
  • Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender
  • Cool mixture to room temperature 
  • Remove bay leaf


  • Divide dough into equal pieces (depending upon the size of the empanada maker you have, this recipe will yield somewhere between 6-12 empanadas.
  • Roll out piece of dough with a lightly floured rolling pin to about 1/8th inch thick
  • Spoon approx. 2 Tbsp. filling into each one 
  • Fold dough in half
  • Press edges together to seal

  • Place on baking sheet
  • Lightly brush empanadas with some of the egg wash
  • Bake in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on baking rack before serving


  • Serve with fresh, sliced tomatoes and green olives
  • Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
  • These are tasty enough to be served without any condiments as the ground chorizos have enough kick of their own!


Straight From the Horse's Trough - Gardening Help for the Suburbanite and Urbanite by [Eismann, Sheila]
  • This was a special treat for me as I was able to pick some tomatoes from my horse trough gardening method to serve with our empanadas.  
  • Here's the link to order a copy of this 
  • quick read e-book:

If you like Mexican food, you've got to try this recipe!  Give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.

Happy Cooking & Dining!

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~~ "As We Celebrate Freedom"

As we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy,
       with our fireworks lighting up the midnight skies,
Let us not forget all of the brave men and women who gallantly fight for freedom,
       many sacrificing their lives.

Let us pray each and every day for our great land,
       asking God to bless our leaders, guiding them along the way.
Praying God will be a shield for all those who protect and serve,
       with His hand of protection on them every single day.

May we speak words of kindness, of comfort and peace,
        giving thanks to God always with a humble heart.
Let us be bold as a lion to stand up for what is right,
        and be gentle as a dove, God's love to impart.

May we bring hope and healing to all mankind,
        and be a light to the nations, a city on a hill.
Let us ring the bells of liberty and freedom all over this land,
        returning to God our Father for He loves us still.

For it is in Christ alone that we are truly free,
        even when terror comes knocking at our door.
It is the Light and Fire of God that will heal us all,
        and enlighten the darkness as we proclaim Jesus is Lord.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence.

Let Freedom Ring on the 4th of July!

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ Individual Chicken Pot Pies

What's for dinner?  How about individual chicken pot pies? This is a great recipe for leftover chicken which can be doubled or tripled with the additional pot pies being frozen if you would like to cook them at a later time.  It happens to be one of our family favorites which we've enjoyed for over a decade.  So, here goes:

  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1 - 14 oz. can cut green beans or vegetable of your choice or 1 - 10 oz. bag of frozen, cooked vegetable
  • 1 - 10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • A few drops of hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup of Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

  • Place diced chicken, vegetable of your choice, undiluted soup, poultry seasoning and hot sauce inside bowl and mix well.
  • Spray individual baking containers with vegetable or olive oil spray to prevent sticking during cooking.
  • Divide mixture into individual baking containers.
  • Thoroughly blend Bisquick mix, milk, egg and Parmesan cheese using mixer at lower speed for about 2 minutes.  Make sure batter is not lumpy.
  • Spoon Bisquick mixture over the top of the chicken and vegetable mixture inside the baking containers.  Make sure to spread the liquid mixture so that the chicken mixture is thoroughly covered.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • Rest for 5 minutes after removing from oven, invert onto dinner plates, and enjoy!

  • I have served these pot pies during all four seasons of the year.
  • For summertime dining, you could pair with a nice ear of corn on the cob.
  • A tossed green salad with additional veggies is a nice accompaniment year round as well.

Happy dining & enjoy.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry & Prose ~~ "Abba, My Father"

Abba my Father, thank You for giving me life,
            For making me Your child, filling every need.
Your joy is my strength, and You are my song in the night.
            Come fill me up now with Your love and peace.

Abba my Father, thank You for sending Your Son.
            Jesus paid the price for a debt I could not pay.
Your awesome Love for me is more than enough,
            Showing me Your mercy, giving me Your grace.

Abba my Father, Your Holy Spirit sets my heart on fire.
            Breathe upon me now like a mighty rushing wind.
Being filled with more of You is my heart’s one desire.
            You are my Comforter, Savior, and my closest Friend.
Abba my Father, I will forever praise You,
            I come to You now on bended knee.
I worship You now in Spirit and Truth.
            You are altogether lovely, so beautiful You are to me.

Contributed by Lesta of Heartsong Treasures.

Happy Reading in Poetry's Presence & Happy Father's Day!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sweet & Savory ~~ "Honey Almond Cake"

Fresh honey, almond flavoring, applesauce and pecans make for a scrumptious combination in this moist, melt-in-your-mouth cake!


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey (I used light colored clover honey)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, slightly heated in microwave
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. hot water


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan.
  • Cream butter and honey until well blended in mixing bowl.
  • Add heated applesauce along with almond flavoring and mix well.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the honey and applesauce mixture.
  • Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and mix thoroughly and quickly.
  • Add to mixture inside bowl.
  • Blend well.
  • Pour batter into baking pan.
  • Bake for 38 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Yields 10-12 servings.

  • Serve warm or cold.
  • Delicious with ice cream or whipping cream.
  • Iced tea or warm tea enhances the honey flavor of the cake.
  • Iced or cold coffee is a nice beverage to serve with cake

Happy Baking & Enjoy!

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Monday, May 29, 2017

ICAN Assists Idaho Author, Elaine Oostra

Five years ago, if you would have told me I would publish two books and work on a third one, I would seriously think you were hallucinating.  Even though I had thought of writing, I saw too many obstacles, and I felt inadequate. My grammar and spelling are terrible! I did not know a thing about how to even start to write a book, let alone publish it. There was this yearning in me to tell my story. I had different parts of it written down, so I started to put it together. Now, what do I do?  I prayed!  

A friend told me about a writers group called ICAN. Two times a year they have writing conferences where you can submit 1500 words and have it critiqued, and you may win a prize for the category in which you submitted your work.  I submitted what I felt was the best part of my story.  I didn’t win anything.  Honestly, I was disappointed and even mad at myself for thinking I could write.  I was going to give up. 

My friend that I went with encouraged me not to give up but to talk to one of the ICAN co-founders.  I did want to find out what I did wrong.  JoEllen, one of the editors, let me see my critiqued paper.  I scored badly on anything that had to do with grammar. She reassured my story was wonderful and please don’t give up. I hired JoEllen as my editor. ( It's why God created editors for people like me). She has been wonderful.  I know she is a gift from God to me and has been patient and long-suffering with me.  Each one of the ICAN women is gifted and eager to help any new author who wants to write.  I love encouraging others to attend an ICAN conference or event when they tell me they want to write but don't know what to do.

My first book, One Brick at a Time, is my life story about being raised by a mother who suffered from a mental illness. I wrote it to encourage others to trust God with trials in their lives. God does have a plan! It’s a story about emotional healing from bitter roots that are buried deep and need to be exposed and pulled out.

My second book, In the Same Way, Teach, is a Bible study for women which is taken from Titus 2:1-5. As mature women, we are to lead holy lives so that we can teach younger women and girls by example and by words. It’s a 13-week study which covers being secure and confident in Christ, knowing truth, the meaning of love, marriage, what is submission and more.

The third book I am still working on is also based upon Titus 2:1-5.  It is titled In the Same Way Learn.  I have been leading Bible studies with teen girls for over 15 years.  This study will be a collection of what I have taught them.  It will be similar to the women's study but geared toward teens.

I have a deep desire to write more Bible studies. I am learning not to listen to self-doubt but listen to the Holy Spirit. He will supply all my needs!

If I had never gone ( I almost didn’t go!) to that first ICAN conference, my book would still be under the couch unfinished. I have learned so much, and I have more to learn about writing! I have learned not to let my inadequacies stop me. I still do not like grammar, and my spelling isn't great.  There are so many wonderful tools out there to help. I know more than I did two years ago. I know how to publish a book. I know I can publish a book.

In His great Love,
Elaine Oostra

Idaho Creative Authors' Network (ICAN) is hosting a one day writing event on July 8th, 2017 at Givens' Hot Springs to assist new authors or already published ones.  The four co-founders, JoEllen Claypool, Sheila Eismann, Carol Green, and Phyllis Nettleton have collectively published over 30 books to date.  They have a heart to help authors succeed.  Here's the web link to register for the upcoming event which includes a bar-be-que lunch, drawing for fabulous door prizes, and access to the wisdom and knowledge of the four co-founders.  

Relax and Refresh Writers' Retreat

Happy Reading & Writing.  ICAN Teamwork makes it happen!

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