Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cookbook Winner!

Lots of great things you all suggested from the Farmer's Market! And the cookbook winner is Angie C. - and I have emailed you! Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012


Another random list of things from here lately:

* Reading: Longing and Loving by Karen Kingsbury

* Working on: still painting the kitchen cabinets - here is part of the other side finished!

* Planning: a fun red, white and blue picnic with my parents who will be visiting for dance recital and my birthday! The fluff is fun for me and what I want to do for my birthday!

* Thankful for: I write my posts early, but by the time you read this, Lord willing, I will be safely at my sisters house meeting my precious new niece, Naomi!

* Improvising: our dryer is having issues - so I have had fun hanging clothes on the line much more frequently!

* Enjoying: watching my littles have a little lunch to themselves recently

* Finding: fun surprises in the garden!

What's your miscy today?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Photo from Microsoft Word Clip Art on-line

I've mentioned recently how I've been feeling dry spiritually. One night I was so concerned about this that I even typed in online: feeling dry spiritually. I've tried all the usual things and nothing is clicking this time around - definitely a struggle.

However, something I landed on that night was such an encouragement to me and has proven to meet me right where I'm at.  Note: I cannot vouch for this site or anything about it other than that God used something there to bless me.

This - the idea of a comparison to a desert and how often God brought His people into the desert either physically or spiritually (or both) as a time of preparation to use them in a mighty way. So, I thought it would be great to look at people in the Bible who were in the desert and to see what came of their time there.

The first person I came across was Hagar. See Genesis 16 for the beginning of her story which is all I'm going to try and process today.

Quick recap: Hagar fled to the desert after being mistreated by Sarai, so she was looking to get out of harm's way and away from her messy life.

I would want to go somewhere peaceful and inviting and certainly don't consider the desert to be that, but it strikes me that she had limited resources - she was a servant and this was what was available to her: desert. It also comes to mind that she is Egyptian (see Gen. 16: 1) and desert was likely exactly what she'd known all her life so perhaps there was a sort of comfort in fleeing into the desert the way she did.

The next thing I noticed was that God met her there. (Gen. 16:7) And, in a very real and personal way. She was addressed by name and her honesty was required as she was asked where she was from and where she was going.

In the desert, there was direction for Hagar. (Gen. 16: 9-12) And, she listened - oh, the lessons in these thoughts alone.

And, this was the encouragement I needed for that time. Since then, I really needed to have confirmation from the Lord on something and read this same passage and it meant something very different but just as meaningful to me. Part two may or may not be something I ever share here - but it is amazing to me (always!) how we can read the same thing two times and have it mean different things to us each time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

White Chicken Enchiladas

Rachel recently spotted a yummy looking recipe on the back of a bag of shredded cheese and asked me to make it sometime. I didn't think we'd love it as written, but I tweaked it to suit our tastes and it was super yummy! Truthfully the original recipe would hardly recognize this one - but I was inspired and used what we had on hand.

One of the key ingredients was corn tortillas. I didn't have any and decided to make some and try my tortilla press that David gave me a couple of years ago. I tried it once before with flour tortillas and not so much of a success - but clearly it was made for corn tortillas because I had a much better experience this time! Here is the recipe I used for the tortillas.

White Chicken Enchiladas

Corn Tortillas
2 c. cooked chicken, cut up
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Cream of Chicken Soup (homemade)
1 c. sour cream
Colby-Jack shredded cheese

Combine chicken and beans in a bowl and set aside. Combine cream soup and sour cream and cover bottom of a prepared 8x8 glass pan. Cut tortillas in half and form one layer. Top with half of the beans/chicken mixture and sprinkle on shredded cheese. Drizzle on about 1/2 c. sauce. Repeat layers ending with halved tortillas. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly on top. Yum!

This turned out super yummy and I was so pleased that so much of it was made from scratch! :) Tried any new recipes lately?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fresh From the Farmstand Review & Giveaway!

Lots of us know how great Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are! And, this new one is so fun especially entering Farmer's Market season! Our local farmers have a new idea that I'm trying - they all list their produce in one spot online and we can go in and place our order by Wednesday and then pick it up on Friday!

This past week I picked up milk, eggs, beef, carrots, lettuce, blueberries, pizza dough and basil butter so I wanted to pick out a recipe that used mostly ingredients I got from local farmers!

Savory Monkey Bread

2 c. finely shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
2-1/2 t. garlic, minced
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 12-oz. tubes refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I don't really like refrigerated biscuits unless I'm making donuts, so I substituted 1 lb. of bread dough which is what I do for sweet monkey bread as well)

In a bowl, mix together cheese, herbs and garlic. Place melted butter in a separate bowl. Cut dough or biscuits into pieces; dip into butter and coat with cheese mixture. Arrange biscuits in a prepared loaf pan overlapping slightly. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, until golden.

In place of the butter and herbs, I had some garlic basil butter that I got at the Farmer's Market and I substituted that!

I made a salad with some of local lettuce and put some grilled chicken in it with this yummy bread on the side.

Would you like a chance to win a copy of Fresh From the Farmstand? I have an extra copy provided by kind friends at Gooseberry Patch that I will be pleased to send to one of you!

To enter the giveaway - leave a comment sharing what you look forward to about the Farmer's Market! Comments will be accepted until  Friday, April 27 at 10pm EST. Winner will be announced next week.

Disclosure: I received two copies of this cookbook from Gooseberry Patch to review and then give one away here. All above opinions are my own.

Monday, April 23, 2012

When the gift of life really becomes a gift!

When a firstborn, who is getting so tall, asks if we can have a picnic on the driveway - the gift begins. A quilt is spread and lunch is served and blessed! And these little faces are my precious company ~

I notice the sunlight filtering through overhead leaves and it strikes me as beauty! One of those leaves falls and Rachel gets all silly and pretends to eat it and we laugh together and the gift just grows.

We continue on our journey with Almonzo and his family - loving the adventures that books take us on! I love seeing children just enjoying the lengthening of time that goes with childhood - a spring afternoon seems to linger forever in these heady days.

These are the kinds of days you can never really predict or make happen. I mean, even if we plan something fun - we never really know how it's going to go until our children decide that outcome.

But, this was one of those where we were all relaxed and enjoying and the gift just kept coming and our afternoon stretched long - toes ran through new grass and voices giggled at its tickles, cartwheels were done and even rolling through the grass. Those joys only fueled the next though - when the idea comes to little minds to bring out blankets and books and just downright make selves at home in the front yard!

I notice the clouds and realize I've never really taken photos of clouds before and then I inspect hydrangea bushes and eagerly await the blooms it promises!

When things just click and time seems to stand still - these are the moments I hope make up the memory bank of childhood around here. When strawberry juice drips down their chins and they can sit in the field and just feel the warmth of the sun and are in no hurry - it swells my heart and fills it with beautiful memories. When they dance through the grass and take the time to lay down and look at the sky and don't have a care in the world - these are the moments that magnify in my mind and so they fill my memory first.

And, the gift just grows when Mama is able to just soak it all in and enjoy it too ~ these are the days that you cannot plan, cannot force - they are pure gift!

Just like pictures like these cannot be staged and turn out with so much feeling of the moment, so life cannot always be staged into beauty. But! We can allow the time for beauty to happen for the gift to come!

And, then the best part of the gift - opening it! enjoying it! You know what joy it gives you to give a gift and see the receiver open it and exclaim over it and enjoy it! How much more our Heavenly Father - this is all a gift from Him! Are we available to recognize the gift, open it and enjoy it! What delight this must bring to His heart!

Emily's self-proclaimed "peace chair" and reading Ann's book no less - definitely a gift!