Quarantine Collection, part 2

May 11, 2020

Like everyone else, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about everything that’s going on right now in our nation and world. But don’t worry, you won’t find any of that here! Other than the fact that I have really enjoyed the extra time at home with my kiddos and I’ve loved having extra time to cook and bake. Sorry if I mentioned that last time, but still holding true!

The result is more recipes to share with you! I love trying new recipes and passing on the ones worth sharing, as well as sharing some old tried and true ones too.

The first one I’m sharing is a recipe given to me by my mom a few years ago, although she doesn’t remember ever making it!? We love it! But it does take a bit of time for a side dish, cutting up all the sweet potatoes. One thing I do that helps, is to precook them slightly in the microwave. Just soften them up enough to make the cutting process easier. It also helps shorten the cook time slightly (over cooking will make them mushy).

Sweet Potatoes with some Spice

3 large/4 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into bite site pieces)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

dash of pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp cinnamon

I slightly precook the sweet potatoes in the microwave to soften them up just a little, so that they are easier to cut up. Place cut sweet potatoes in a gallon ziplock bag, then add oil to coat. Mix the rest of the ingredients and empty into bag with potatoes. Toss to coat potatoes. Transfer to a greased baking dish – 13×9 is appropriate.

Bake uncovered at 400* for approximately 25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Do not overcook them or they will get ‘mushy.’ Stir them half way through baking.

Enjoy!

Next is a Mexican dish that my hubby thought looked good. It’s not very often he sends me a dinner idea; he claims he’ll eat anything. But this was one of those videos you can watch…it inspired me to make what I’m going to call Mexican Skillet Bake. 🀷 The video had no recipe, name, or measurements. I ended up putting my own spin on it and the whole family loved the result!

We also enjoyed some homemade mini apple pie taquitos for dessert for a fun Cinco De Mayo themed dinner. Simple to make: your favorite pie crust recipe (or store bought) and a can of apple pie filling! Easy peesy!

You’ll need a seasoned 10″ cast iron skillet. I will post several pictures to help show/describe how to assemble this dish. It’s easier to do than to explain. πŸ‘

Mexican Skillet Bake

7 8″ tortilla shells (I used whole wheat)

1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

1 onion

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

olive oil for pan

1 can tomatoes with green chilies 

Layer tortilla shells in greased cast iron skillet, as shown in picture. (Five of them overlapping in a circle around skillet with one placed on top, covering the bottom. Save 1 shell for the top.)

Cover bottom tortilla shell with half of the cheddar and half of the colby jack cheeses.

Drizzle olive oil in pan, brown ground turkey (or meat of choice), then add in peppers and onions and spices. Sautee until tender. 

Transfer to cast iron skillet, on top of the cheese layer. Spread can of tomatoes over top.  Top with remaining cheeses. Place last tortilla on top and fold the tops of the others down around it, overlapping. See picture.

Bake at 350* for 40 minutes. Transfer by flipping the pan over onto a cutting board or platter to serve.

Enjoy!

The next one is just something I came across and wanted to try. I’m not a big fish/seafood fan. I mean pretty much anyone will eat it fried but 1. Fried food doesn’t agree with me and 2. I like to make a healthier version of fish, since afterall the health benefits are pretty much the only reason I’m making myself eat it. I did actually enjoy this version of a baked fish with a coating/breading. *Sorry I took zero pictures of this dish. Nothing fancy.

Crispy Baked Fish

Coating enough to make 1 lb tilapia fillets

Milk mixture: 1/4 cup milk 

1/2 tsp vinegar

1 Tbsp brown or honey mustard

Breading: 1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix milk mixture and let set for 15 minutes. Combine ingredients for breading in separate bowl. Dip fish fillets in milk mixture, then in breading mixture. Then place them on a greased pan, fit for broiling. Place fillets under broiler, 4-6 minutes per side, until fish is done and flakey.

Enjoy!

I still have three more recipes to go…I was saving up several to share with you! Next up is a sweet breakfast treat; my favorite scone recipe.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

*Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

2 cups flours

1 Tbsp baking powder

3 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp cold butter, cut into 1/4″ chunks

1/2 cup cinnamon chips

1 cup heavy cream

For topping: 1 Tbsp heavy cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425*. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon & salt. Cut in cold butter using forks or pastry blender. Stir in cinnamon chips. Pour heavy cream in and strie with spatula until dough begins to form. Don’t over mix.

Transfer dough to floured countertop and knead dough by hand until it forms a ball. Pat the dough into a circle, roll it out to approximately 3/4″ thick. Cut scones into triangles (x8).

Place scones on greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Combine cinnamon and sugar for topping. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush top of scones with cream, then sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Bake approximately 15 min (mine took 18 on an airbake cookie sheet).

Enjoy!

Next is an easy, but so yummy recipe for spiced pears. These are great on homemade granola for a simple but special breakfast treat, or as we recently enjoyed them, on pancakes. I think they’d be equally excellent on waffles, french toast or ice cream too!

Spiced Pears 

Great topping for pancakes, french toast, or homemade granola

*Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats

5 pears, peeled, cored & sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2-3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

Melt butter in skillet over medium/high heat. Add sliced pears and cook until juices start to be released and edges of pears start to appear transparent. Stirring occasionally. Stir in honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Gently stir until combined and simmer a few more minutes.

Enjoy!

Last but not least…I know some of you wanted this recipe! I teased about the secret ingredient to these soft, chewy peanut butter cookies. HONEY! πŸ˜‹

These peanut butter cookies are definitely an upgrade from the traditional, fork smashed, crunchy peanut butter cookies. You probably won’t make that old recipe again after you try these. I can’t take credit for this recipe, it’s from one of my favorite blogs (that I used to have time to read, been a longggg time).

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

*Recipe from Annie’s Eats

3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup shortening

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup honey

2 large eggs

sugar for rolling the cookies 

Cream together shortening, butter, peanut butter, and honey. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add in the dry ingredients. Roll the dough into 1-1 1/2″ balls, then roll each ball into sugar before placing on ungreased baking sheet. No need to flatten down with a fork like traditional peanut butter cookies. 

Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes – until slightly puffy and golden. Let cool on baking sheet 5-10 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Enjoy!

That’s a wrap! Gives you some new recipes to try until next time! 😁πŸͺ😘

Rain or Shine

April 26, 2020

As I was getting ready for bed last night, checking the weather and getting my clothes out to run the next morning, I was kind of grumbling because Saturday morning was beautiful and when I originally intended to run and Sunday morning’s forecast was nothing but rain. Oh well. Trudge on. I don’t normally charge my run because of the weather (lack of sleep, maybe, but not the weather).

Anyway, forecast was right, very wet run. But it didn’t stop me from enjoying it. To be honest, I didn’t even notice how wet (and cold) I was until about mile 8. *Running tip, when it’s raining, wear a hat; gives you the illusion you’re not really getting all that wet because your face isn’t feeling it. Definitely better than rain dripping off the end of your nose.

In spite of the rain, I still found beauty all around me. Last weekend’s long run was the same way, it was a beautiful morning and I found myself constantly stopping to snap pictures. It reminded me of the movie ‘Yes Man’ with Jim Cary and the photography jogging club, lol.

That’s me I guess, even on a rainy day. πŸ™‚πŸ“·

Lately, more so than usual, my early mornings out running make up my only free time, and my best quiet time with God. Sleep has been a struggle for the little one, who is terribly uncomfortable at times from reflux. The last 5+ weeks have been challenging. Which lead me to another realization while running today…I find myself crying out and searching for God more so during times of struggles, compared to when things are going well.Β  Reflecting on the last few years, it’s true; when I’m at the highs, on the beautiful mountain tops renewing my vows for example, I’m not as active seeking God. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still grateful and thanking & praising Him, and I’m always a prayer warrior for others, but it’s different. I find myself focusing on God more when I’m in the midst of a struggle…

Long story short, I’m resolving to make God my focus whether I’m riding the waves or getting pummeled by them.
I keep circling back to my ‘verse of the year:’

Thanks for reading my ramblings and letting me share some beauty from this rainy morning! Until next time…

Quarantine collection, part 1

April 15, 2020

I always feel bad when so much time passes between posts. In reality since baby #3, I just don’t have the time to blog. Too busy loving life to blog about it I guess. πŸ˜‰ Recently, however, many of us have been given the gift of some extra time. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for some extra time at home with my family.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most is the extra time to cook/bake. I’ve been able to make some new and old recipes that tend to take longer, that I don’t always have time to make. I wanted to share a few of them with you!

The first of four recipes (making up this part 1 post, hopefully more to follow) is the White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut cookies I made for my hubby, as they are one of his favorites and something I don’t make often enough. There is really no excuse for not making them because they are pretty quick and easy. I happened to have an unopened can of macadamia nuts in the freezer, the rest is history. They put a smile on his face! πŸ₯°

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter/margarine, softened

1/2 cup shortening

1 tsp vanilla1 egg

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

dash of salt

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 jar (3.5 oz) macadamia nuts, chopped

Beat sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla & egg together with mixer til light and fluffy.  Stir in flour, baking soda & salt. Dough will be stiff. Stir in white chips and nuts. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 10-12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet 1-2 minute then remove to wire rack to cool. 

Enjoy!

Next up is a Cajun pasta dish, a recipe given to me a long time ago from a family member. It’s one those recipe cards I found while sifting through my recipe box. I know I’ve made it in the past but it’s been a long time. I unfortunately didn’t happen to snap a picture of it, but I promise you, it will be a hit. Add the ingredients to your next grocery list! Another nice part is that you’ll have left over meat to make other meals. (I made egg roll in a bowl with the left over sausage; check out that recipe I’ve previously posted.)

Cajun Chicken Pasta

1/2 lb. italian sausage

2 chicken breasts

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tsp flour

1 cup cream

1 Tbsp cajun seasoning

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp pepper

2 sweet peppers (red & yellow)

1 box fettucini

Cook sausage and cut into bite size pieces. Then you can either prepare chicken the same way (cook then cut) or cut into bite size pieces before cooking on stovetop with sausage. In a large skillet, saute onion & garlic in olive oil. (Start water boiling for fettuccine.) Add flour, then wine, broth & cream, stir. Add meats, seasoning, paste, and peppers. Simmer and stir till peppers are cooked.  Add drained, cooked fettuccine to skillet, mix all together.

Enjoy!

*may also add 1/2 lb shrimp if desired.

Recipe three of four is a recipe card I copied at least 12 years ago and never made. Glad I made time to make it because it was a huge hit with everyone in my family. (Even the baby!? That never happens.) Have you ever had ‘hot pockets’? Yeah, they aren’t high on my list either, I know what you’re thinking. Well think of a homemade version instead, one that I promise won’t disappoint! One with a protein and a veggie hidden in there, and of course yummy cheese to tie it altogether.

Homemade ‘hot-pockets

12 Rhodes dinner rolls – thawed

1 (10oz) can chicken, drained

2 cups chopped broccoli – thawed & drained

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fat free sour cream

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp ground sage

1/2 tsp pepper

1 egg beaten

Combine 2 rolls together & roll into rectangle, approximately 6″x8″. Combine remaining ingredients except egg & rosemary. Toss together lightly. Use mixture to fill dough pockets evenly. Moisten edges with water, bring in sides over filling and pinch to seal.  Place on baking sheet – brush with egg and garnish with rosemary if desired. Let rise 20 minutes.Bake at 350* for 25-30 min. until golden.

Enjoy!

**may add 1/2 cup slides fresh mushrooms and/or 1/4 cup green onions if desired!

Last but not least, another one for the hubby. He loves traditional rice pudding. Have you ever made traditional rice pudding? Hours of standing at the stove stirring; definitely a labor of love. This recipe however is much easier and so, so yummy. Just as creamy as traditional rice pudding and husband approved. The peaches are an added bonus for sure, along with the coconut flavor. (Again, sorry I wasn’t planning ahead and didn’t snap a picture!)

Another nice thing about finding these old/new to me recipes is thinking of the ones who shared them with you. Before trying this dish at a ‘bunco night,’ I didn’t like rice pudding and didn’t feel rice belonged in a dessert. This version won me over. I reached out to the one who shared the recipe with me a few years back, because she has since moved. It was a great excuse to reconnect! It’s often so much more than just yummy food. I hope you’ll enjoy this one!

Coconut milk rice pudding with peaches

(adapted from original recipe from Allrecipes.com)

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups basmati rice (long grain rice)

3 cups coconut milk (2 cans)

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup skim milk (I used almond, and original recipe called for whole)

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 Tbsp vanilla extract 

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 (15oz) can sliced peaches, drained & chopped (or I used 4 of the individual serving size cups already chopped)

1 cup coconut, if desired

Bring water to boil, add rice, cook as directed, covering & reducing heat to simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 20 minutes. Combine rice, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in large saucepan & bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until pudding is thick and creamy (approximately 20 minutes).  Stir milk and eggs into pudding gradually. Stir constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs and/or the pudding sticking; continue at least 2 minutes. Remove pudding from heat and stir butter, vanilla and spices into pudding. Then fold in peaches and coconut if desired.  

Original recipe said to chill for 3 hours, but we enjoyed it warm shortly after it was made. Enjoy!

Hopefully I’ll share more from my kitchen (or my runs or my devotionals) soon! I made some yummy nontraditional sweet potatoes already and will plan to share that recipe next time. Stay healthy friends!

Grasshopper Cheesecake

December 30, 2019

I wanted to share one last recipe for the year. They’ve been few and far between, just like my free time lol, so while on Christmas break I had a little bit of time to type this one up! I love this mint and chocolate combination, especially after a lasagna dinner! Or in this case for a family Christmas get together! (It is one of my brother’s favs so I make it for him!)

I love making cheesecake! I’ve blogged about my top cheesecake making tips previously..don’t over beat or over cook, etc. (Find it here )

Grasshopper Cheesecake
Makes one 10″ cheesecake
Crust:
Approximately 35 Oreos or fudge mint cookies, crushed
3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted
Filling:
6 oz semisweet baking chocolate
4 1/2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
6-8 drops green food coloring

Directions:
Heat oven to 300*, wrap bottom of 10″ springform pan with foil. Mix crushed cookies and melted butter until crumbly. Press in bottom and part way up sides of prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes a d allow to cool whole making cheesecake filling.
In large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until combined. Add flour. Stir in extract and food coloring. Do not over beat.
Transfer into prepared pan, on top of crust.
In small bowl microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls into cheesecake filling. Use butter knife to swirl chocolate around to give marbled affect.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until set approximately 2″ from edge of pan. (Center will still be ‘jiggly’.)
Turn oven off, crack oven door to remain open while cheesecake remains in oven for approximately 1 hour to cool. Then transfer to refrigerator. Best if refrigerated 3 hours before serving.
Garnish with ready whip whipped topping and mint chocolate candy if desired.
Enjoy!

2019 coming to a close…

December 29, 2019

I am not sad to say goodbye to 2019.

I know I should focus on the positive things from 2019; I am always so encouraged by people who constantly, even in the worst circumstances are still seeing the the good in the situation.  (Note to self- work on this in 2020.) I normally tend to remember things in a ‘rosey’ way…choosing to remember things fondly, forgetting any of the negative things that may have happened, etc. But when I look back at 2019 my vision is totally clouded by this overwhelming feeling of stress. Yes, in my mind, all I can think of when I glance back over 2019 is this overwhelming feeling of stress that I feel was there 85% of the time. Believe me, I know things could be worse and I feel guilty feeling so stressed and ‘whining’ when I know so many people are dealing with much worse struggles. But I guess it has helped me to fully realize that we all have struggles big and small and we all deal with them differently…

In my head I know the truth I’ve read and learned from the Bible and my faith. I believe all things happen for a reason and there’s a season for everything. My hope is in Jesus and that is what gets me through. I’m thankful for that. I’m not sure how people who do not have faith in Jesus manage in tough times; it would be even more overwhelming.

It’s funny as I think back to when I was pregnant with Henry, the theme of so many devotionals and Bible verses during that time was ‘prepare for an upcoming season of change.…’ Oy. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate change. Things have definitely been different since baby #3 arrived. I wouldn’t trade him for the world, of course, but we can’t deny, it’s different. In addition to the usual ‘new baby different,’ there’s been some added stress of minor (compared to so many other possible worse situations) health issues for our little guy… ER visits, out of town specialist appointments, special diets, speech/OT appointments, and even a helicopter ride (hence the added gray hairs), not to mention a potential surgery looming in the future. I felt this baby and past year has aged me sooo much lol. I guess stress will do that to you (and help you lose your baby weight, only plus side lol).

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to whine to everyone…I hate that…I actually even hate talking about Henry’s health issues and when most people ask, unless they are close to me or known prayer warriors, I’ll probably just say ‘oh we’re pretty good/he’s doing pretty well’… (We’re probably all guilty of that at times..)  I guess my point is we all have struggles and should all greet people with the perspective that we don’t know what each is going through. Maybe someone in the checkout line seemed like a jerk, but maybe they’re just having a tough time. Maybe it would be nice to say a quick little prayer for those people who we cross paths with.

So, I’m sorry to anyone that crossed my path..and mostly to my household family for being difficult to love/live with at times. For times I seemed grumpy or distant, or didn’t check in enough or stop to visit, for having to say ‘no’ at times..etc. I felt down right miserable sometimes. Feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed 90% of every day isn’t a fun feeling.

But here’s to a New Year! A fresh start! I’ve always been one for New Year’s resolutions- from giving up pop and cookies when I was 12, to running 1200 miles in a year, to practicing being intentional- I honestly try to keep them, unlike the other reported 80% who fade off by February. I’m going to try something new, in addition to making some resolutions, I’m going to have a ‘verse of the year.’ I came across a verse in my devotional this morning that spoke to me and felt it should be a focus for me for 2020.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16Β Rejoice always,Β 17Β pray continually,Β 18Β give thanks in all circumstances;Β for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I’m going to write a few copies of it and place it several places I’ll see it regularly throughout my day. I would like to challenge you to do the same. Make a resolution for 2020, something you want to improve on, something attainable. Then also pray and ask God to lead you to a verse to be your focus for the upcoming year. Lastly, consider praying for those who cross your path that might be having their own struggles (aren’t we all in some way or another?).

Here’s to a New Year ahead! A year of prayer, rejoicing (in all circumstances), and sharing more love and feeling more grace. I haven’t decided completely on my running goal for the year…I’d like to ‘run the year,’ but I know I don’t have time for that big of a commitment right now. I’m going to shoot for something more than the 1200 miles I’ve done in the past and also a new goal of a 4 hour marathon. I’d also like to get back to sharing recipes more often…I’d like to resolve to blog once a week but I know what my ‘free time’ looks like and I only make practical/attainable resolutions. 😜 Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Thanks for caring, because I’m sure you must if you made it through all that! β˜οΈπŸ˜‰πŸ˜β™₯️

Happy New Year!

Picture from my morning run. 11 miles, burning the Christmas calories! We’ve had 5 Christmas get togethers over the past week! πŸ˜³πŸŽ„πŸ˜œπŸ˜β™₯️

Comeback!

September 8, 2019

Happy Sunday morning! Long time no see- er long time no blog for me! Been doing some baking…and lots of running…just no time to blog about it. Feel this is the busiest my life has ever been and it’s an exhausting whirlwind.

Baby #3 has been a stressful transition, mostly because of some health issues we’ve been trying to figure out over the last 6 months. Nothing major I don’t think; but still enough to cause stress daily. I decided a few weeks ago that we needed to celebrate every little victory with this Lil guy! It seemed like it was ‘always something’….one little issue after another, as soon as one would resolve it would be something else. Well celebrating every little victory, no matter how small, has definitely helped!

Well, this morning I am celebrating our breakfast! 😜 And Mr. Henry is making a comeback! I made blueberry teacake for breakfast (and turkey bacon and eggs- yum). Henry has slowly been able to start eating ‘real’ non- purreed food (just bananas, strawberries, and peaches so far) without gagging- well, victory- he had a few bites of this teacake and did great! He must have been waiting for the ‘good stuff’ lol! πŸ˜‹ (I realize this probably isn’t the healthiest thing to give him but we will try pancakes next Sunday πŸ˜‰…I honestly didn’t expect him to really eat any of it. A lot of what we try goes in and comes right back out…)

On a running side note, I too feel like I’m making a comeback! Thankful marathon training is going better than I expected. I’m totally committed and really looking forward to this marathon in December!! Three months from yesterday and I’m about 3 weeks ahead of where I feel I need to be.

On the ‘hunger for God’ note (since I updated on baking and running), I’m planning to read Soul Care again. Our church is offering the class/experience again, and as much as I’d love to, I just can’t commit to one more thing… especially something in the evening with a baby bath/bedtime of 7pm. I’d love for one or two people to read along with me and maybe we can talk weekly or something…if you’re interested please touch base with me! 😊

So that’s my update since it’s been soooo long.

And here’s a recipe for the blueberry teacake. It’s another goodie from one of those local church cookbooks. Those have some of the best gems. I also plan to post recipes for the lemon zucchini bread and smore cake I made last week. Stay tuned…😘

Blueberry Teacake
1/4 cup margarine
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (I subbed almond milk)
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups blueberries

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream margarine and sugar. Add egg and milk. Mix well and then add dry ingredients. Spread batter in a greased 8×8 pan. Mix crumb topping: dry ingredients first then cut in the margarine to form course crumbs. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of the batter.
Bake at 375* for 40-45 minutes.

Enjoy!

Position yourself…

April 21, 2019

Often times when I run in the early morning, around the time of daybreak I find myself chasing a sunrise. I found myself eager to see a sunrise this Easter morning. The weather forecast showed chance of rain, so I figured my chances of a sunrise were slim to none…but if I was going to see one, I knew exactly where I wanted to be.

It was almost 100% cloudy when I headed out but there was a small break in the clouds in the direction the sun would be peaking up. I had decided to head up this big hill just outside of town…kinda steep, but a nice quiet dirt road with a view of the town and a chance to see the sun rise over the opposing mountains. I knew if I was going to catch a sunrise this morning, this was my best chance.

As I was climbing the hill (slow but sure) it made me think of the parallels of life, running, and seeking God. If I wanted to see a sunrise this morning, I had to position myself to do so. Similarly, if I want to see God, feel His presence, hear Him talk to me, etc, I need to position myself to do so. If our previous Pastor Joe taught us anything, it was the need to include daily disciplines into our lives…reading the word, journaling, praise and worship, quiet meditation, etc. By doing these things we are positioning ourselves to hear from God. This Easter morning, I not only wanted to see a sunrise, I also wanted to be in His presence.

To make another comparison, it reminded me of how hunters position themselves to ‘make the kill.’ I have a friend who is one of the most avid hunters and outdoorsman I know; naturally he’s raising his boys to be the same. He was preparing to take them hunting for youth spring gobbler I believe. He wanted the boys to have a great experience and hopefully get a turkey, but he did more than hope it would happen. He did a lot of preparation and positioning himself to help make it happen. His many early mornings of scouting, learning about the sport and the animal, and guiding his boys, helping them to practice their aim, etc. All of that paid off when he got to celebrate their first successful turkey hunt. Point is, he was intentional about positioning himself and it probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

I need to be intentional in positioning myself if I want to experience all that God has for me. I feel like I’m better at doing this when there is a rocky road or something I’m struggling with/through. Recently, the last 5-6 weeks have been kind of tough for me. Our newest little guy has been sick…nothing earth shattering, but still enough to feel sad, worried, stressed, helpless..all the feels. I know others have much more serious storms they’re going through but this was my current storm and it was trying.

In these situations I do find myself seeking God, asking for answers or healing or whatever I need. But what about in just my everyday life…when all is pretty smooth sailing…I may not be as focused on God or as intentional about seeking him as I am during life’s storms. (Sounds kinda like I use God for what I need when I need it…πŸ€”πŸ˜)

So as I turned around to head back down the hill this morning, I wanted to remember this feeling. Not just the ‘wow this was a great run; the most relaxed I’ve felt in weeks’ feeling; but the little fire I was feeling in my soul, one I believe only God can put inside me. That’s the feeling I wanted to continue to feel, even once I’m off the quiet, beautiful hilltop, back in the traffic and mundane cloudiness that can exist from day to day.

Once I reached the bottom, back to the main road of traffic, I was reminded that God is there with us, peaking through the clouds, today and every day.

I plan to try to be more intentional at seeking God and not just when I need something. I will say though, everytime I went seeking Him or cried out to Him, He gave me reminders he was there… through song, my daily devotional, random devotional, or through a friend or family member saying they’re praying. For this I am thankful…I’m also extremely thankful that my little one seems to have turned a corner and is feeling better. ❀

One more lesson this morning: don’t fall for a decoy πŸ˜‚

Happy Easter! He is risen!

Egg roll in a bowl

January 29, 2019

First of all, I was proud of myself for actually planning meals for the entire week and grocery shopping all at once for the week. Woohoo…that never happens. As I was planning meals, I was sick of the same ol’ dinner options so I decided to try a few new recipes this week.

First up is this ‘egg roll in a bowl’ that I keep hearing people talk about. Sounded good to me but I wasn’t sure if everyone else was going to like it. Thankfully it was a success! So before days went by I decided I should probably write down how I made it so I can remember for next time, since it was a hit!

I had looked over several different recipes and kind of came up with my own from tidbits of each. Sorry for the lack of picture, you’ll just have to trust me that it was yummy! Here’s what I came up with… I used turkey sausage…I know friends who have used pork sausage or ground beef or even chicken. I served it with (brown) rice.

Egg Roll in a Bowl
2 bags of coleslaw mix
1 lb ground sausage (or turkey sausage)
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh minced ginger OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Brown sausage in a large pan; when nearly done, add in onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger.
Cook until carrots and onion tender. Then add in the chicken broth to deglaze pan.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add in the coleslaw mix, stir. Add in soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir.
Cover and cook 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage has reached desired tenderness.

Enjoy!

Chopped!

January 28, 2019

Do you ever watch the show on Food Network called Chopped? It is one of our family’s favorites; even the kids ask to watch it. And I’ve been shocked at some of the things they’ve learned and remembered from watching it… Simon regurgitated some valuable information about preparing artichokes one time while in the grocery store. It’s not something I ever make so I was surprised, he said, ‘I learned it on chopped mom!’ 😁

The kids also love to pretend they are chop judges at dinner at night. Like the show, they pretend I am a contestant, daddy too (even if he didn’t make anything lol), and then they judge my food. It’s comical most of the time.

Last night we had family over for dinner and my hubby used his smoker. We all LOVE it when he smokes something for dinner..and it had been a while. He decided to smoke a 6 pound pork loin with homemade rubs and then glazed with BBQ sauce. I wish I could share the smell with you in addition to the picture because it was SO good and the picture just isn’t enough!

I made garlic parmesan hassleback potatoes and salad, that didn’t come close to comparing to the pork loin. As my husband brought the pork in from the smoker he grinned and said, ‘you just might get chopped tonight momma!’ πŸ˜‚ Haha I had to agree.

My sister-in-law brought her famous maple roasted vegetables that are a favorite of ours too! The kids had a hard time deciding who to chop so they said we could all advance to the final dessert round. However, I think daddy won, but they knew mom made the pie and Aunt Kim brought the ice cream so they felt they best not chop us! Haha! All good fun and a yummy meal.

We finished it off with apple pie, my dad’s favorite, since it was his birthday we were celebrating. πŸŽ‰β€πŸŽˆ

Fresh trax…

January 27, 2019

Fresh fallen snow this morning…2-3″ meant I got to use my new yaktrax for the first time. It was so quiet out early on a Sunday morning. Still dark out and the snow was still really coming down! Not many cars had made tracks yet and no snow plows were to be found.

Despite the snow, cold temperatures and slow pace/extra work, I was thankful to be able to get a run in. I wasn’t as lucky this week as I was last; with the weather and baby’s schedule I just didn’t get as many miles in. Do what ya can, right!?

Whatever you’re doing, keep at it!