It Is Well

Ihoratio-g-spaffordf you’ve never heard the story of Horatio Gates Spafford, it’s quite inspiring. Born in 1828, he became a well-known lawyer in Chicago in the 1860’s. Spafford and his wife Anna married in 1861, were active in their church, and began a family.

In addition to his position as senior partner in a successful law firm, Spafford also decided to become an investor in downtown Chicago real estate early in 1871. Unfortunately, later that year, Spafford suffered a huge financial set back when his investments were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. But the family persevered and helped other families who suffered losses from that fire.

By 1873, Spafford and Anna had four daughters, Tanetta, Elizabeth, Maragret Lee, and Annie; Tanetta, the eldest was 11 and Annie, the youngest, was two. It was during this year that Spafford decided his family needed a special vacation and choose to take them on a trip to England where his friend, evangelist D.L. Moody, would also be preaching during the time of their visit.

Spafford had to delay his departure unexpectedly at the last minute because of business, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead and planned to meet up with them in England. So in November, 1873, Anna and their four daughters set sail on the Ville Du Havre. While crossing the Atlantic near Newfoundland, the ship was struck by another vessel and tragically sunk in icy waters. Anna was one of the few survivors; all four of their daughters were among the 226 travelers who died.

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Anna’s Telegram: “Saved alone….”

As soon as Anna arrived in England, she sent a telegram to her husband that began, “Saved alone.” Spafford left for England to join his grieving wife, sailing over the location where his daughters had drowned. During the rest of his  journey to England, he penned the words to the well-known hymn, It Is Well with My Soul.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul…

How could someone experience all this tragedy and say “It is well”? Author Stuart Briscoe has a great insight in his book, A Peace of My Mind (pp. 49-50): “I have no doubt that he [Spafford] would have spent every remaining penny of his fortune if it would have brought back any of his children. I am sure he would gladly have taken their place on the stricken ship if it would have saved their young lives. I cannot begin to imagine the emptiness that his father’s heart suffered after losing not only four daughters but also his only son [who died as an infant in 1880 of scarlet fever]. All of this on top of his devastating business losses. He knew pain, he knew anguish, he felt it all, experienced it all, suffered from it all. Just as any other human being would feel, experience, and suffer. He was not unfeeling and he was not a superman. He was an ordinary man whose mind was set on God, who He trusted implicitly–and it showed. So he could say, “It is well. It is well.”

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Toffee Scones

ChocolateChipCoffeeToffeeScones@NancyCreative.com

It’s been a while since I’ve made scones. I think the last ones I made were Blackberry Scones, and that was about a year ago.  So when I had the chance recently to try some different coffee blends, compliments of Community Coffee, I thought of making scones because they go great with coffee in the morning. And I decided it would be fun to try making some coffee-flavored scones. I envisioned them with some chocolate chips and toffee, too–those flavors are always good with coffee.

These scones are more cake-like than biscuit-like. They’re more dessert-like than breakfast-like. But if you like having dessert for breakfast, then you’ll especially like these! :) Everyone who tasted these scones really liked them, so I think you’ll like them, too. CommCoffee

Community Coffee was founded in 1919 and was first sold in a country store in north Baton Rouge, LA. Family-owned and operated for four generations, it was named “Community Coffee” to honor friends and neighbors in that country store neighborhood. I tried three different blends: the House Blend, Golden Caramel, and Vanilla Creme Brûlée. And I also shared the coffee with some of my co-workers–we did a little taste-testing!

House Blend:  Overall, everyone felt this medium-dark roast blend tasted great. I thought it was just right–nice and smooth and not too strong. Ann said it was a good, smooth coffee with full-bodied flavor. Linn also thought it was good and very smooth, and being a Duck Dynasty fan, said it was “smoother than Uncle Si’s Beard.” Mary mentioned that it had a good aroma and taste. Matt described it as “robust” and said he’d be back for a second cup. Denise said it was “fresh and good, and that’s coming from a coffee snob.”

Golden Caramel Blend:  I really like flavored coffees, and I think this was my favorite. The packaging describes this blend as “Smooth and Buttery” and that’s a very good description. Ann thought of an even better way to describe it: “It tastes like you melted a buttery homemade caramel right into the coffee!” She also said “It leaves me wanting more.” Julie completely agreed with Ann. Even Mary, who doesn’t like flavored coffee very much, admitted, “It’s not bad.” Brenda loved the coffee–she thought it was smooth and had a great flavor. Mark also described it as “smooth, with a good, subtle flavor.”

Vanilla Creme Brûlée Blend:  The packaging describes this as “Sweet and Creamy.” I thought the flavor was a little richer than the Caramel Blend. Just about everyone felt this would make a great dessert coffee. Ann described it as “creamy and rich” and “very pleasant.” Rick said it was creamy with some nutty undertones. Matt thought the flavor was creamy and said it would definitely be great with dessert. Linn called it “sweet and mild” and Brenda gave it a thumbs up, saying it would be great served with a piece of coconut cream pie (which happens to be her favorite pie). Ann said it wouldn’t be bad with a slice of German Chocolate Cake, either!

So hopefully, this gives you an idea of what these blends taste like. We enjoyed trying them out!

Now for the scone recipe–this calls for 1/4 cup very strong coffee (plus 2 more Tablespoons for the glaze). I used the Golden Caramel Blend, but any of the blends I told you about would work well in this. And just a little note–as these scones were baking, they were looking a little puffy, which worried me a little when I took them out of the oven. But as they cooled, they settled down nicely. So don’t be alarmed if you notice some puffiness when you take them out of the oven!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COFFEE TOFFEE SCONES by NancyC

Makes 8 scones

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup very strong coffee, cooled (you’ll also need 2 more Tablespoons for the Coffee Glaze-see below)
  • 1 large egg

COFFEE GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons very strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Half & Half (light cream)
  • Additional mini chocolate chips and toffee bits for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium-size bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use pastry cutter to blend butter into flour mixture; mixture will be crumbly . Stir in mini chocolate chips and toffee bits.

In small bowl, mix plain Greek yogurt, coffee, and egg until smooth. Blend yogurt mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until clumps of dough form (dough will be a little sticky). Sprinkle some flour over the dough in the bowl to make it less sticky, and with floured hands, knead a few times and shape dough into a ball.

Place dough on your parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to score into 8 wedges, then bake at 400˚F on your center oven rack for 17-18 minutes, until golden. Note: If you bake these less than 17 minutes, your scones may be under-baked in the middle. Also, the scones may look a little puffy, but they will settle down as they cool.

Cool scones for about 20 minutes (or you can cool them completely), then top with the Coffee Glaze. To make glaze, put powdered sugar in a small bowl, then add the coffee and Half & Half (light cream) and stir until ingredients are well blended. Drizzle over cooled scones-you can drizzle as little or as much as you like (you’ll probably have some extra glaze left over). Then lightly sprinkle some additional mini chocolate chips and toffee bits over the glaze. Let glaze set, then cut into wedges where scored, and serve.

ChocolateChipCoffeeToffeeScones2@NancyCreative.com

Coffee and coffee-flavored scones are a great way to start the day! This was the first time I’ve used coffee as an ingredient in a recipe. Have you made any recipes with coffee?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Wow Us Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday.

Sweet Pickle Deviled Eggs

Sweet Pickle Deviled Eggs@NancyCreative.com

I’ve made deviled eggs several different ways, but never with sweet pickle relish. I know lots of people make it that way, so I decided to give it a try. The pickle relish gives these eggs a good flavor and the pickle taste is … Continue reading

Watermelon-Peach Salsa

Watermelon Peach Salsa@NancyCreative.com

I enjoy trying different fruity salsa flavors in the summer months. So far I’ve made Peach Cucumber Salsa, Mango-Jalapeno Salsa,  Zesty Watermelon Salsa, Blueberry Salsa, and Savory Strawberry Salsa. I recently found a new one to try at MyRecipes.com. This … Continue reading

Srawberry-Watermelon Cooler

StrawberryWatermelonCooler@NancyCreative

Having a slice of watermelon is so refreshing, especially in the summer, isn’t it? Fresh strawberries are another favorite summer fruit of mine. So it seemed like a great idea to whip up a strawberry-watermelon drink. This Strawberry-Watermelon Cooler is a mildly sweet, … Continue reading

Rosemary Focaccia Biscuit Bread

RosemaryFocacciaBiscuitBread@NancyCreative.com

I’m not originally from the south, but I’ve grown to love southern food. And that includes biscuits–especially biscuits! I love them hot from the oven with some butter or topped with sausage gravy…mmm! So of course I was excited about reviewing the new … Continue reading

10 Chocolate Chip Recipes

10ChocolateChipRecipes@NancyCreative.com

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day–WooHoo! It sounds like a great excuse to enjoy lots of chocolate chip goodies, doesn’t it? Here’s a little roundup of some recipes you may want to try… These Chocolate Chip Muffins are great for breakfast or … Continue reading