Tag Archives: M’m M’m Monday

M’m! M’m! Monday 5/8/17

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10(NLT)

Container Problem

 I have a container problem!  It never fails! When I go to pick out a container for the left overs from dinner, I almost always come back with a dish that’s too big for the amount of food I have.  On top of that….I’ve usually picked up and put down three or four different sizes before deciding on the one that ultimately ends up being too big!  Nine times out of ten, I don’t have what it takes to fill the container I picked to do the job. 

You know? Sometimes I feel the same way about myself!  (Yes, I’m comparing my Rubbermaid and Tupperware to life, now!) Stay with me….There are times when I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to do something but I’m afraid I don’t have enough…enough wisdom, enough energy, enough courage, enough whatever to fill the position or to do the job and so I. Don’t. Do. It.  Ever been there?  

Just like digging in my container cupboard looking for the right fit, I sort through in my mind  sizing up all the other people who I think would be better able to fill the need. The problem is: no one has started that book study that I’ve felt compelled to start, the idea to provide a free lunch for those in need remains just that, an idea, and opening my house as a gathering place? A big dream waiting to be fulfilled. 

Here’s what I’m learning. It’s not about me! (I know, I know. You’ve heard this before.  You should know by now I’m a slow learner!) All throughout the Bible we find people who believe they aren’t at all suited to do what God asks them to do.  Some of them tell God He’s making a mistake, some tell Him to find someone else, and some even run in the opposite direction. Me? I sit in my chair and think about what God wants me to do.   God reassured those He chose that He’d be with them and would provide all they needed until they’d become a perfectly filled vessel for the job. 

“By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.  We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3(NLV)

It’s the same for you and me.  We can be confident that if God is calling us to do something, He has chosen us because with Him we will be the right fit for the job.  We may have to step out of our comfort zone (talking to myself here). It may require more faith than we’re used to. It might just be plain scary! But, in the end when we open ourselves to God’s calling, trusting in Him to give us what we need; we may just find we are a match with what He’s prepared us to do…..just like the right lid for the perfect container!  Oh dear, don’t get me started on my problem finding the right lid……

Instead, let me share with you a delicious recipe where the bites are small and the flavor is big! A perfect combination to me! Hope it “fits” into your dinner menu soon! 

Steak Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs. top sirloin steak
  • 1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbls. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbls. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. black pepper

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients except steak in a Zip Lock Bag.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Cut steak into one inch pieces. Trim fat.
  • Drop steak in to bag and seal shut. Shake and squeeze gently to coat steak with marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 24.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until skillet is very hot.
  • Remove steak pieces from bag using a slotted spoon and place them in hot skillet.
  • Throw marinade away.
  • Cook steak according to your desired temperature. Stir occasionally. Medium is approximately 3 minutes. (I like mine well so cooked them 5-6 minutes)
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M’m! M’m! Monday 8/15/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

What happens when opposites get together? I’m left handed, he’s right. He’s a morning glory, I’m a night owl. I love my music up loud, while he prefers the volume to be down low.   My husband and I are completely different in almost every way possible and after 33 years together, we STILL find ways that we contrast each other. Yes, night and day, up and down, left and right, Cindy and JD…..as unlike as can be! It reminds me of Paul when he was struggling with opposites in Romans 7:19:

“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (NLT)

Good and bad, right and wrong, somehow we find ourselves attracted to both! I can’t count how many times I’ve set out to do the right thing and only a short while later find myself doing the reverse. It’s not necessarily the big things that send me in the wrong direction, but rather those little, I know it’s not right but “maybe no one will know”, “what can it hurt”, “everyone else is doing it” kind of things that bring me straight to the same place that Paul was: in deeep “do do”! (do, do not do, do, etc.)

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  Romans 5:8 (NLT)

Thank goodness God knew we’d need help! He doesn’t wait until we’ve got it all right.  He met Paul then and he meets us today, right where we are; even if it’s in messy, deep do do. There’s nothing more radically different than our sin and the perfection of Jesus! But….put those two opposites together and We. Have. Victory!

Sweet and Sour

Opposites: Sweet and Sour = Tasty

Like JD and I, today’s recipe takes two opposites, puts them together, and makes something great! I first had this dish while on a girl’s get away to the lake with my mom and sisters. The sweet pineapple, sour sauce, crisp vegetables, and juicy chicken make it a family favorite here! And it’s pretty too! So, remember in people and in food…..different can be good! Enjoy!

Lake Isabella Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbls. all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbls. vegetable oil (I used Sesame oil for that oriental flavor)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 c. sugar snap peas
  • 1 jar sweet and sour or duck sauce (2/3 cup) Found in the oriental cooking section of the store
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • sliced green onions (optional) I liked them!

Instructions

  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Measure reserved juice and add enough water to make 1 3/4 cups of liquid.
  • Prepare rice according to directions on the box using the juice/water mixture.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Toss chicken pieces in the flour.
  • Cook chicken about 5-7 minutes or until golden.
  • Add pineapple chunks, pepper, and snap peas and cook until slightly softened (3-5 mins.)
  • Add sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, and orange juice to mixture in pan. Cook until sauce begins to boil and thickens.
  • Serve over rice.
  • Top with green onions if desired.
  • Makes 4 servings.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 7/18/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Today I’m lost without ever leaving home.  My sense of direction, dulled; I find myself aimlessly floating between the past, present, and what’s yet to come. Wayward, I drift on the rising and falling   tide of “what ifs” and “why nots”…. leading me only farther from where I need to be. 

Yes, I’m adrift on the sea of woe is me.  Ever been there? It’s a much too familiar place where my blessings feel obscured, as if swallowed by the fog.  And my wants?  They seem far out of reach; just minute dots on the distant horizon. Sucked into the whirlpool of my own churning thoughts, the me I want to be, is missing.

SEND OUT THE LIFEBOAT!!!!!

“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.”  John Newton, 1779

Join me in singing those words over to yourself a few times.  They remind me that whenever we feel lost…lost in grief, in sickness, in conflict, in worry, in fear, or even in our own self-centered thoughts; Grace. Is. Our. Way. Home.

Sometimes, like today for me, it feels like the person we want to be is nowhere to be found. Isn’t it reassuring that we’re not navigating this journey alone? We have each other to hold on to, inspired music and writings to keep us on track, and the amazing assurance that we’re never too lost that we can’t be found by the One who leads the way!

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do?  Won’t he leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he finds it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.” Luke 15:4-5 (NLT)

Days like today just require comfort food so I’m sharing with you one of my very favorites!

Peach Crunch

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced, ripe peaches
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups oatmeal (I use old fashioned but quick works too)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbls. butter or margarine, melted
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Instructions

  • Spray Pam in a 9 x 13 dish.
  • Spread the sliced peaches over the bottom of the prepared dish.
  • Sprinkle peaches with white sugar and a little cinnamon.
  • In a bowl, mix together oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, salt and melted butter. (I use a fork)
  • Pour crunch mixture on top of fruit, spreading evenly.
  • Sprinkle a little nutmeg over the top - if you prefer, you can leave it off (I love nutmeg!)
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and crunch is golden brown.
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Comfort at its best! Yummm!

Comfort at its best! Yummm!

This is my Grandma Stevens’ recipe that we tweeked by doubling the crunch.  It works well with apples in the fall, too! Serve warm with ice cream or my preferred way….with milk!  Makes any day better! Enjoy!

 

M’m! M’m! Monday 7/4/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Last week we were just thinking about the Fourth of July and now here we are!  My weekend didn’t turn out quite as we had planned.  It’s disappointing how easily I get out of whack when MY plans don’t work out the way I’d hoped.  (Cue the sad violin music) I sigh, (loudly) I boo hoo, (pitifully), I grumble about how it’s not fair, and… I. Feel. Sorry. For. Myself!  I am such an Israelite!

 The Israelite people were living a life in slavery. Through Moses, God saved them. To do this, they’d walked across the dry bed of the Red Sea, followed a light at night and a cloud in the day to guide them to safety, manna fell from Heaven to satisfy their hunger, and water poured from a rock to quench their thirst. They’d witnessed miracle after miracle, grace after grace, and what did they do in return? Felt. Sorry. For. Themselves. And just like me, they grumbled!

“Moses also said, “you will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we?  You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.” Exodus 16:8 (NIV)

“Grumbling against the Lord”…..Yikes!  It’s so easy for me to invite myself to that pity party, dance with my disappointment, and never once think that I’m grumbling against the One who saved ME!  The Israelites pity-partied on for way too long and it didn’t turn out so great for them. Pretty sure there’s a lesson here for me! Please tell me, I’m not alone!

It’s time for me to establish a no grumble zone and instead look at all my blessings! So, our weekend didn’t go according to plan…. we still got some jobs done that we’ve been avoiding, had an unexpected visit with our son, daughter-in-love, and granddogs, and have had some much needed down time, too. Manna from Heaven for sure! 

Our weather didn’t really cooperate today for our traditional Fourth of July grilled hot dogs either. No worries though, I pulled out my Fancy Hot Dog recipe, instead. Super quick, easy, and the best part? No grumbling! Enjoy!

Fancy Hotdogs

Ingredients

  • 1 package of hotdogs (I've used Oscar Mayer and Ball Park)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Cut hotdogs into quarters.
  • In a saucepan, combine ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar.
  • Add hotdogs and simmer 15-30 minutes.
  • This recipe can be easily doubled and also fixed in a crockpot!
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M’m M’m Monday! 6/27/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Can you believe that June is almost over and Independence Day is a week away? It’s been a busy month here!  Our grandson turned one. I went on a mountain retreat to celebrate a dear friend’s retirement. We enjoyed the wedding of my daughter’s best friend on our 33rd anniversary. We’ve pretty much celebrated the month away!

I’m going to make this short and sweet tonight because as busy as my June has been I’m sure yours was full, too and you don’t have time to read the wandering words of this chaotic mind. So, let’s think Fourth of July for a minute.  It’s a weekend full of parades, picnics, and fireworks.  There’ll be hotdogs on the grill, cool watermelon slices, and ice cream churned by hand.  Flags will be flying, horseshoes tossed, and “I’m Proud to Be an American” will play on the radio.  We’ll laugh, light sparklers, and hug family members. We’ll celebrate the holiday away!

In the midst of all our fun, let’s not forget that there are service men and women who instead of celebrating are putting their lives on the line, fighting for the freedom we so often take for granted.  Let’s take time to gather together and say a prayer for those brave soldiers and for their families who try to carry on even though there’s a person missing at their picnic table. And at days end as we gaze into the night sky watching the trails of light dance between the stars; may the music fill our souls, singing: “Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God Bless the U.S.A.!”

Need an idea what to take to the picnic?  Here’s an old standby all decked out for the Fourth!

Red Velvet Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 1 10.5 oz. bag of mini marshmallows or approximately 40 large marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Red Velvet cake mix (the more cake mix the redder the treats)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
  • Red, White, and Blue sprinkles (if you want to add a little pizazz)

Instructions

  • Spray pam generously in a 9 x 13 pan and on a spatula.
  • Melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and cake mix until blended.
  • Remove from heat and stir in cereal until evenly coated.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Press down with prepared spatula.
  • Shake sprinkles over top if you choose.
  • Cool and cut into squares.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 6/20/16 (Please Pretend it’s Monday)

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

I’d like to talk about toilet paper…..well actually, the lack there of! I don’t know why it is, but it seems every time I’m in need of some, the roll is empty. Upstairs in the middle of the night; two squares barely covering the cardboard roll. Downstairs  when I first wake up; one lone sheet dangles precariously. And Sunday? Out to lunch after church, waiting in line for the ladies room. One occupant emerges, another goes in. She emerges, I go in. WHAT??? Another empty roll! Can’t anyone but me fill the toilet paper dispenser?

As usual, this got me to thinking….that’s right people, toilet paper…. about being empty and getting filled. I hate to admit this but my faith often wears thin and I feel I can barely cover all that I’m facing. At other times I worry, am fearful, or discouraged and feel as if I’m left to dangle on my own. More times than I’d like to admit, I’ve looked to others to do something I’m obviously suppossed to do but am low on confidence and afraid I’ll fail. In each situation a change is in order.  Trying to do everything; face everything on my own just leaves me empty, spinning, and unable to get the job done. I need to be filled!

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that surpasses all knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)

Being unwound and empty is a human condition. One I’m all too familiar with! Have you been there?  “Strengthen, power, love……fullness.” “Dwell, rooted, grasp…..filled“. How amazing it is that we don’t have to stay that way! God is waiting for our invitation to have Him fill our empty places with that wide, long, high, and deep love and not just fill but give until we’re overflowing!

So the next time I’m face to face with a cardboard tube instead of a full roll, (and I’m sure there’ll  be a next time), I’m going to try and whine less and remember Who it is that I can count on to fill me up as many times as needed!

Now, speaking of being filled; if you remember last Monday I vowed to try some healthy recipes. I usually associate “healthy” with leaving me hungry and needing more to fill me up. Not so with this healthy, (even though bacon is involved) easy, chicken skillet meal. I think I’m on a “roll”! Get it?

Chicken, Squash, and Asparagus Skillet Dinner

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of the bacon of your choice
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I didn't know these guys existed, but sure enough found them in the chicken section of the meat department)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound asparagus, trim the ends
  • 2 small yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 4-6 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Coursely cut bacon slices (I used my kitchen shears) into a 12" skillet.
  • Lay chicken on top of bacon, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium high heat for 12-16 minutes, turning halfway until browned.
  • Add broth and onions to skillet and cook five minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink.
  • Meanwhile, combine asparagus, squash, and two tablespoons of water in a microwave safe dish. (I also salt and peppered them)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and using a knife, cut evenly placed vent holes.
  • Cook on high power for 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
  • Combine vegetables with chicken mixture and serve.
  • Makes 4 servings.
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M’m! M’m! Monday 6/13/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Things here are on the rise…..my blood pressure, the number on the scale, and my pants size!  Arghhhhh! You know what that means……visiting those two evil twins…….diet and exercise! I would much rather stay home with the more pleasant and comfortable ones…..cooking and eating!

Counting calories, sweating, and feeling hungry are not my favorite things.  In fact, I’ve obviously tried to avoid them; that is, until now. Being a “MiMi’ has started me thinking.  I want to be able to jump in the ocean, hike in the woods, and a million other things with my grandson.  I want to see him graduate, even marry, and be around to cherish him for as long as I can.  To do that, I have to be healthy!

Being healthy is a good thing, so why do I dread it so?  I’m pretty sure it comes back to my age old problem of self. I want to be comfortable, satisfied, and in control. Those aren’t words I associate with losing weight and getting into shape.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Whoa!  I haven’t ever really thought about it in that way, have you? These words challenge me and to be honest, make me feel a little uncomfortable (just like the waist band on my jeans). I guess it’s time for an attitude adjustment; focusing less on the what (what I’m giving up, what I have to do) and more on Who.

Tomorrow I go and pick up my new increased dosage blood pressure medicine. I’ll also continue to clean and sort through my closet where I’ve found way too many clothes that no longer fit. Now that I think about it,  a visit to diet and exercise may not be a bad idea after all; and maybe they shouldn’t just visit, they should move right in, so this ole temple will be around for a long time to come; keeping up with grandchildren and honoring the One who bought it with the highest price of all.

I know and you know that this won’t be easy, especially for a gal who loves to cook.  Here’s where I’m going to challenge myself.  In addition to losing weight and lowering my BP, I’m going to begin to search for recipes that still are easy and comforting, but healthy, too!  No better time to start than now!

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 large or 4 smaller zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 -1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Prego Heartsmart)
  • grated mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a 9X13 pan with Pam.
  • Combine turkey, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a skillet, cook until turkey is browned.
  • Layer zucchini in the bottom of the pan. Don't leave gaps.
  • Spread ricotta on the zucchini, then 1/3 of the turkey, then 1/3 of the sauce. Start with zucchini again and continue the layers three times.
  • Top with a light layer of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • It will be juicy. You can attempt to pour some off but be careful. (I just left the juice)
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I have to tell you, I was skeptical at first about this recipe but I LOVED it! If you have healthy recipes that you love, share them with me in the comments section.

P.S.  I’ll keep you up to date on how the “evil twins” and I are getting along as we learn to live together!

 

 

M’m! M’m! Monday! 6/6/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

It’s my grand baby’s birthday today!  One year old!  Just imagine all he’s experienced in those twelve months!  Some good, some bad, and all the in-between! He’s learned so many new things! Walking, chattering, picking up small objects; just to name a few, and he’s becoming more independent by the minute. I’m still waiting to hear his sweet voice say “MiMi”, but when his little hand reaches out to me, my heart melts.

Of course, we had a big celebration over the weekend with balloons, streamers, presents, lots of food, and cake, can’t forget the cake!

Carson vs. cake. Carson wins!

Carson vs. cake. Carson wins!

Summer is just around the corner so our party food was typical summer fare:  hot dogs, hamburgs, potato salad, and baked beans.  Everything was delicious but I must tell you the baked bean dish was clean when the party was over.  They were mighty fine if I may say so myself!  So, somewhere in the midst of the good, the bad, and all the in-between of life celebrate by taking a little time to enjoy a picnic meal with family and friends. Reach out your hand to let someone know they’re appreciated by inviting them for a summer feast or if you need a dish to take along to a poolside get together try this easy recipe for baked beans! And DON’T forget the cake!  Enjoy!

"Mighty Fine" Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 6 bacon slices
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 64 oz. pork and beans
  • 1 cup root beer (not diet)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Saute diced onion in hot bacon drippings over high heat until tender. (maybe 5 minutes)
  • Combine pork and beans, root beer, BBQ sauce, dry mustard,and hot sauce.
  • Crumble bacon into mixture.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove onions from drippings and add to beans. Stir well.
  • Pour into a lightly greased 9X13 pan.
  • Bake uncovered for 55 minutes or until sauce is thick and bubbling.
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Maybe…..Tasty Tuesday?

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Well, it happened again…..twice!  I’m so sorry I missed Mm! Mm! Monday two weeks in a row! A week ago Monday, I was sick, sick, sick and you don’t want to hear about that!  And then there was yesterday….

I had all intentions of posting on schedule and then the unexpected happened. My better half, while working in his wood shop cut his finger with a newly sharpened knife, right through his glove.  As it turned out we ended up in the ER and waited FIVE HOURS for him to get five stitches and a giant bandage! After getting discharged we ate an McDonald’s hamburger at 10:30 p.m. (not highly recommended) and drove the thirty-five minutes home.  Needless to say, writing my blog post never happened.

So, here I am today to remind you to always expect the unexpected!  We never know what life’s going to throw our way but we DO know Things. Will. Come.  I never expected to move to West Virginia, to retire at 55, or even to be writing my own blog; and those are all GOOD things!  But then there are those circumstances that come out of nowhere and blindside us.  We all have them, whether it’s a health issue (or a knife issue), a difficult stage in our marriage, a loss of someone we love, or a challenging job.  The list is different for each of us and somehow we have to be prepared to be unprepared for them to come. I think I’m safe when I say that none of us long for times of trouble, I know I’d like it to stay as far away from me and those I love as possible. Unfortunately, there’s evil in the world and it touches us all.  Isn’t it reassuring to know:

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

Expecting the unexpected is only half the story. The more important half is that We. Are. Not. Alone. God, who is NEVER surprised provides for us even through our darkest times AND uses those times to help us become more of who He intends us to be!  I don’t know about you, but that’s an “unexpected” comfort to me!

Now to the business at hand…..Here’s an unexpected flavor combination that tickles your tongue and this is perfect timing too, because the rhubarb is ready to pick! I hope you are pleasantly surprised by this dish!

Cinnamon Rhubarb Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless Pork Chops
  • 1 cup diced Rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 TBLS. Flour (for a Gluten free recipe use a gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Applesauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Place pork chops side by side in a baking dish.
  • In a bowl, mix together the rhubarb, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (I had cinnamon applesauce on hand so I used that and cut back on the actual cinnamon)
  • Spoon mixture evenly over the pork chops.
  • Cover with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes then remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until pork chops are tender. (I was worried about the meat getting done, but it was moist and tender!)
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http://www.myseaofthought.com/2016/05/31/maybe-tasty-tuesday/

M’m! M’m! Monday 5/16/16

"This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun. ~Julia Child

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, BE FEARLESS, and above all have fun.
~Julia Child

Is it Monday again already?  Time passes so quickly these days it seems! I’m sorry I missed last Monday.  I was lucky enough to be babysitting my little grand.  He’s mobile now so needless to say my attention was on him ( and his keen interest in the dog’s water) and not on my keyboard.

Being in church on Mother’s Day with my daughter, son-in-love, and grandson brought me such joy.  As part of the service they recognized the oldest mother present in the congregation.  (She was eighty-eight.)  Then they asked for the youngest mom and it turned out to be MY daughter!  Boy, talk about overwhelmed with feelings!!! I can’t tell you how proud it makes me to see my baby girl taking care of her own baby!  It’s a feeling so amazing that I find it hard to put into words (and you know I love my words)!

Having Hannah standing beside me as the congregation applauded her took me back to being a young mother myself. I remember being so tired that I didn’t think I could do one more thing; but I did.  I can remember feeling afraid I would make mistakes; of course I did. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love that I thought I might cry; and yes, I did that too.  Pulled in every direction: home, school, church, community; there were times I didn’t think I could handle it all…..and some days I didn’t, but some days I did!

Being a mom and now MiMi is my greatest blessing!  It isn’t easy. And for those of you just starting out like Hannah, I’d love to tell you it gets easier….but it doesn’t, just different.  I think back now and wish I’d lingered in the everyday just a little longer.  I wish I’d soaked in the tiny hand hugs and sticky kisses just a little more deeply. I wish I’d prayed more, read more nursery rhymes, and said fewer words out of anger.

My grandparents used to tell me that the older you get, the faster time seems to go.  I didn’t understand back when I was a young mom and wife, but I’m living it now! Whether you’re a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister, brother, or friend I remind you to cherish each moment you’re given! Good, bad, ups, downs, happy, sad….life happens so quickly and all too soon you’re looking back and wondering where that young person went and how the person in the mirror could possibly be you!

I remember one thing about being a young mom very clearly and that was suppertime!  By the time I’d worked all day and picked the kids up from the sitter, making dinner felt like slaying Goliath!  Those were the days of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Hamburger Helper. Spending time now with my kids, I know the challenges for young families are the same today, if not greater, and I must admit I still like a quick meal too! So for those of you feeling stretched thin, overwhelmed, or like me; just like easy, I thought I’d share another easy chicken recipe that takes about as much prep time as Kraft Mac & Cheese and the clean up is easy, too!

Well, now that I’m the grandparent I’ll tell you to sit down with your family or friends around your table, say a prayer, enjoy some good, easy food, talk, laugh, and hold tight because you’ll find out that time passes in a blink of an eye, like I did!

Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4-6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used Minute and it worked fine-maybe not quite as firm)
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen(thawed) broccoli florets ( I used frozen because it was easy)
  • 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs (I didn't use quite this much)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (or cheddar if you prefer)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a bowl, mix soup, water, rice, broccoli and onion powder together and pour into a 9 X 13 pan.
  • Lay chicken on top of rice mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs on the top of the chicken and rice mixture.
  • Cover pan with foil.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Uncover, top with cheese and replace foil. Let stand on counter for 5 minutes to let the cheese melt.
  • Serve with fresh fruit or a salad.
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