Thursday, October 4, 2012

White "BBQ Sauce"

I am not sure why this was call "BBQ Sauce".  It really is deceiving because it tastes nothing like BBQ sauce.  It's good!
Ingredients: 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped, 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice, 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 large cloves of garlic, minced

Note: I didn't have a fresh jalepeno so used a dash of crushed red pepper instead.
I just put all the ingredients in my awesome little chopper....
Put it in a cute little container.
I cooked a chicken breast and used the sauce to baste it occasionally. And then used the sauce as a "dipping sauce".

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Little Did I Know...

I was encouraged in the last couple of days by a Facebook post of all things. I know…right? A friend posted a status update that encouraged me. The best part? She has no clue! Isn’t it great, amazing and heartwarming how God can use absolutely anything or another person to encourage us or send us a message? Gives me the warm fuzzy feeling….ha.
Anyways, my friend posted about how a decision she made a few years back, that seemed to be a very hard decision at the time, had led her to the place she is in life today. Little did she know…
I am in a place in my life where God is asking me to be patient and wait. I won’t lie ITS HARD! And I don’t understand it at all. Buuuut I know that I don’t have to understand, all I have to do is trust. And yes, there are days that I flat out don’t want to trust. Nope, not doing it today (arms crossed). I am going to feel sorry for myself today. I want to make things happen my way and in my timing. After all, I’ve got it all planned out perfectly..right?
“Come on God can’t you see that this way would work, or that way?? I want that!!!!”
Who in the world do I think I am….seriously?? How many times have I tried it my way and it didn’t work?
I can see God thinking, “That silly girl, I have great things planned for her, won’t she be surprised at what I have planned?” 
The picture that comes to mind is of a child when their mom or dad has just come home for the day. The child has made something for mom/dad and has waited all day with excitement for the “reveal”. They CANNOT wait for them to see what they have for them. They stand at the door jumping up and down with pure excitement and constant jabber, urging mom or dad to come see. Or they are waiting oh so patiently, swarming around mom/dad - kind of like a kitten who wants to be petted does around your feet - waiting for them to discover what great treasure is awaiting them. Not wanting to just blurt it out and ruin the surprise.
A silly picture? Maybe. But it makes me smile. I  see God “making things” for us, caring enough to take the time to “make” something, and then waiting expectantly, excitedly for our reaction of joy. Meanwhile, we have no clue that he is “making” something for us. We think that he has forgotten us. Then BAM! Surprise! It’s like it was building all around us the whole time and we were clueless. 
We all know…waiting for anything is hard. But I know that when I am looking back on the situation (whatever direction it takes), I then will be saying “It was soooooo worth it to be patient!” I would like to think that I will be one of those ladies years from now saying to a younger lady (like I have ladies telling me now), “It’s worth the wait sweetheart, trust me! I was where you are. I  know, I know, it’s hard but wait on Him! He will be glorified because of it!” 
I want to have one of those “Little did I know…” stories.
If you are in one of those seasons of life where you are waiting, whatever the situation might be, nothing makes sense, it didn’t turn out like you had planned, I encourage you, do not give up, do not lose faith, do not get angry with God!  Now, I know that “someday” seems like it will never come for some of us. And with each year that ticks by it seems more and more impossible (Did you forget that anything is possible with God?). I have complete faith in God who is true to his promises and will never leave us or forsake us. Who knows, the situation might not turn out the way I am hoping.  But I know that whatever the outcome, as long as I keep my focus on Christ, He will work things together for my good.  It will be good whether it goes the way I want or not.  After all, it's not about what I can "get" from God but totally all about surrender to Him and His plans so that He can work through me so that He is glorified.
I see the examples that God shows me of others who have “Little did I know…” stories. I don’t compare my story to theirs because I know mine will be different, but I just know that their story is proof that God is true to his promises and that he IS constantly at work.
Tomorrow might be one of those – Nope, not doing it today (arms crossed) kind of days. But I know that God will send me something (like a Facebook post) to get my perspective back where it needs to be....on God, seeing the situation through His eyes not mine.  And instead of saying "Why God?" saying "Ok, how can I glorify you today God, right now, in this moment?"
To my friend who wrote the post - Thank you for the encouragement!
Let's strive to wait patiently and joyfully on our
“Little did I know…” stories.

Monday, September 3, 2012

T-shirt to Skirt

Happy Labor Day!
I decided to dust off my sewing machine this weekend...the result? Projects completed!  Yay!
This one is by far my favorite.  A men's XL tshirt is made into a super comfy skirt. 

Here is the tutorial:
I was a little intimidated by the "shirring", but it is easy!  Walmart has a great selection of colors of tshirts.  I have grey and coral color ones that are waiting to be made!  I might possibly end up with one in every color!! :)  And like she says in the post, thrift stores are great places to find cheap tshirts.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favorites

I've missed a few Fridays....just a few...ha. :)
But hold up....I'm going to make up for it!!!  Here's a few favorites:
Mini Food Processor....its GREEN!
I absolutely LOVE this thing!!  I have a full size food processor but wanted a smaller one because it's a pain to get that thing out all the time!  This one easily sits on the counter.  And is GREEN!!!! Doubles as a cute kitchen accessory!  I had to bust it out the minute I got it.  Yes, I am one of those people that has to try something immediately after getting it...why wait??? 
This has a 3 cup capacity and does an excellent job for small jobs.  I've made multiple batches of hummus (a full can and the extra ingredients all fit perfectly) and chopped up veggies with it so far.  So much more it can do!
Celtic Woman
There was a special the other day on OETA where Celtic Woman was performing. I was tempted to add every song from that special!
 Just listen.
A week of quietness at work!
(NOTE: This isn't my actual list. I borrowed from Google.  However; mine looks very similar!)
My boss was gone this week for meetings and so I was able to catch up on stuff that had been in the "less of a priority" to do list.  I'm a list person.  I am super excited when I can make a list and then actually cross (eh..scribble) everything out because it is actually finished! :) 
By the end of the week I had started another list...but hey I got alot acomplished this week!
Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappuccino
Low Fat, Soy Free, 7 grams of Whey Protein, Calcium, Arabica Coffee and Cocoa....need I say more?  Ok, maybe I do......GOOD STUFF!  A tid bit expensive but worth it!  I have to say though it does have a lot of sugar....not a good thing....not going to keep me from drinking it though...ha! 
Rain App for Kindle Fire

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pretty lil' Patio

On the weekends, I like to sit out on my patio on the morning and drink a cup of coffee.  A couple of mornings ago I sat there looking around at the flowers, bright oranges, pinks, purples and greens. 

I thought of Matthew 6:30.  Here it is in context.

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thank you God for the reminder! :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Steak Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

The star of this is the cucumber-avocado salsa! I was a little leary but WOW!  I have made this multiple times since making for the first time a few weeks ago. And it is HEALTHY! It came from a Ellie Krieger Cookbook.  If you don't know who that is, well, she is all about healthy.

The original recipe had different seasonings for the steak.  I didn't have all of them so I compromised.  For the original recipe, see the "Recipes" page. 

Steak Tacos
Ingredients (for steak fajitas, salsa below): Top Sirloin Steak, the package I bought has three steaks in it.  I only used one and froze the extra for later use.  Steak seasoning, lime juice, tortillas. 

Rub the steak seasoning into the steak one both sides.  Let set for a few minutes. 

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pan.  When oil is hot add the steak.  Cook for a few minutes on each side, time depends on your preference of doneness.  Just before it is completely cooked squeeze some lime juice over it.  When cooked, remove from pan and set aside.  Let it rest while you make the salsa. 

Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
Ingredients: 1 cucumber, seeded and diced, 2 medium avocadoes, peeled, pitted and diced, 1/2 red onion, diced, juice of 2 limes, salt to taste, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 3 jalepeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped (or to taste). 

Note: The ingredients are listed as they are on the orginal recipe.  I halved the recipe.  I ate the left over on chips the next day.  Makes a great dip!  I made the salsa again on its own just to eat with chips. 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine. 

Go back to the steak, place on a cutting board and slice it into strips. 

Plate and serve!  I heated the tortilla on a tortilla warmer and topped with the steak, salsa, extra lime juice and cilantro. 

The salsa is so flavorful that you do not need to add anything else to these.  It is great!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fabric "Art"

My hope for this summer was to get my second bedroom transformed into an "office".  Well, it hasn't completely happened yet.  But I am making progress!  I am just soooo slow at picking things out.

I created this fabric "art", last weekend.  I found the fabric at walmart a few weeks ago and it was exactly the colors I am going for. 

Frames: I already had these (I used 3) 8x10 frames with mattes that were hiding in a box.  I love that they are not all identical, adds some fun.
Fabric:  Found these at walmart.  Love'em!

First, iron your fabric, to get rid of all the fold lines. Using Magic Sizing makes this part a breeze!

Place the matte on the fabric.  If you are a perfectionist, you can trace around the matte and then cut it to size.  In this case I was not....I roughly cut around the matte, making it a smidge smaller so it would fit flat in the frame. 

Assemble it in the frame. Hang on wall (or wherever).

And there you go!  That's it!  Instant gratification...almost. :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

This favorite is a little "silly".  But I have become a huge fan of Snapple.  This is my favorite flavor (so far...ha). 

I've learned a great thing about the glass bottles is that you can wash'em, re-fill'em with water, and stick'em back in the frig.  Use less of those plastic bottles that are filling up the landfills.  High five! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  In an effort to not be such a slacker.  I've decided to start doing "Friday Favorites".  This will just be random things that I am stuck on. :) 

Here are a few of my favorites songs playing on the radio.  When I hear these they make by day brighter, regardless of what might be happening in that moment.  Such a blessing!!!! Thank you Lord for the reminders and change of perspective. :)  They all seem to fit perfectly right now. 

I couldn't narrow it down to just one video....who says I have to anyways?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Herb Blend for Dipping Oil

You know when you go to a restaurant and they serve you bread and dipping oil as a starter?  Well, here is a version of that! J  I store this in a cute little airtight glass container I found at the dollar store.  (Doubles as a decoration too!) Just prepare a batch whenever!  This is also great to give as a gift (as pictured).

Sooo, good!  ‘Nuff said.

1 Tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper 

1 Tablespoon water
½ cup olive oil
1 French bread baguette

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

TO PREPARE DIPPING OIL: In a small microwavable bowl, combine 4 teaspoons herb mix with water.  Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds.  Drain excess water.  Transfer to a shallow serving plate; add oil and stir.  Serve with bread. 

Yield: 3 batches, ¼ cup total

Recipe by: Taste of Home

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the Christian atheist - Book Recommendation

I read/studied through this book a few months ago with a great friend of mine.  I enjoyed it and a lot of it has stuck with me since...and that is saying a lot....because I am one of those people who can read a book or watch a movie and in a few weeks time forget all about it.  And I don't normally remember it until I read/watch it again and then....I remember that I have seen/read it before...ha.  I hardly ever quote movies and usually am totally lost when someone quotes a movie because, well even if I have seen the movie, I don't remember it. 

Anyways, this book stuck with me.  It's recommendation worthy. :) 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Seasoned Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Like normal, I was hungry and had not planned anything for supper so I started looking through my cabinets/frig to see what I could come up with.  I made chicken breast seasoned with montreal chicken seasoning and garlic mashed potatoes. 

For the garlic mashed potatoes I made mashed potatoes like normal.  I used a little bit of butter, heavy cream instead of milk and added a garlic "cube", dried parsley, salt and pepper and topped them with chives (growing on my patio...yay!) and a sprig of parsley (also growing on my patio....double yay!).

For the chicken, I just defrosted one chicken breast, cut it in half, because it was super thick, pounded it a little, seasoned it with "GrillMates, Montreal Chicken" seasoning, and crushed red pepper.  I cooked it in a little olive oil in a skillet until brown on both sides.  I topped it with green salsa.

That was it!  Easy and delicious! :)

I have an AWESOME neighbor whom just happens to like to bake, and lucky me, she usually shares! :)  She made this dulce de leche cake.  She said that she heard me pounding or chopping and figured I was cooking supper, and came knocking on my door to give me dessert...ha. 
I pretty much inhaled it...sooooooo gooooood!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Stand Firm Then....Ephesians

I realized I hadn’t finished the last part of the Ephesians study .  Let me rephrase that, I finished the study I just didn't post it on here lol.   So, here it is…

Ephesians 6:10-24

vs. 10-12 – “Be strong IN the Lord and IN his mighty power.”  We are strong in him and in his power.  Not on our own.  “Put on…” The armor of God is something we have to “put on”.  Something we wear or use so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.   This is a reminder to “put on” the armor of God instead of trying to battle the devil on my own.

The devil is no match to the power of God living within us.  The Holy Spirit is in us and the armor of God surrounds us.

vs. 13-17 –  THE ARMOR OF GOD.  Paul says 2 times to “put on the armor of God”.   My mind went to the placement of each of the physical pieces of armor ---- Belt of Truth: The belt goes around the waist, the core of the body.  Truth should be our core.   Breastplate of Righteousness: The breastplate goes of the heart and protects all the vital organs.  We should protect our hearts with righteousness.  Feet Fitted with Readiness: Our feet carry us everywhere.  We should always be ready to go where or to say what God is asking us to.  Shield of Faith: The shield was used to “extinguish all the flaming arrows”.  Our faith should outweigh anything that the devil “shoots” at us.  Our faith should be so strong that his “flaming arrows” are extinguished when they hit us.  Helmet of Salvation: A helmet protects the head.  Our minds should be protected by the helmet of salvation, always remembering what Christ did for us.  Sword of the Spirit: We should fight with God’s word.  His promises. His truth.

vs. 18 –“ Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  Thank you God that we can pray!  Thank you that we can talk to you and that you hear us through prayer!  Keep on praying for all the saints.”  We should pray for all believers, not just the ones in our circles but ALL.

vs. 19-24 – Pauls focus was on the gospel and fearlessly making it known despite his circumstances of being in prison.  I should always be looking for opportunities to “make the gospel known” despite what circumstances might surround me.  “Undying love”  Wow, what great words.  Do I love Him with an “undying love”?   These verses would be a great prayer to pray for a pastor!

That is Ephesians! J  Lots in there and lots to learn.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Skillet Ravioli

This was so quick and easy annnd GOOD! :)  The great thing is that it is all cooked in one skillet! Well, ok and a sauce pan if you use fresh spinach.  Less dishes! :)

Ingredients: 2 cups pasta sauce of your choice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/3 cup water, salt and pepper, 1 9 oz. package frozen ravioli, 1 large egg, lightly beaten, 1 15 oz. carton ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, 1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (or 1 large bag of fresh, cooked -- It seems like a lot but it really cooks down). 

Add the pasta sauce, sugar, and water to a skillet.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Add salt and pepper if you want. 

Let that simmer while you cook the spinach.
I used fresh spinach because it's what I had.  Heat water to boiling in a small pan.  Add the spinach and only cook for a few minutes.  Continue to add the spinach in handfuls until it is cooked down.  Drain and set aside.

Stir in the ravioli to the sauce in the skillet.  Reduce the heat; cover and cook; stirring occasionally.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  It doesn't take very long for the ravioli to heat up. 

Put the egg, ricotta cheese, and 1/2 cup of the grated cheese in a bowl and mix.  ( I just guessed on the amounts for both cheeses.)

Top the ravioli with the cooked spinach. (I probably could have used a little more spinach....ha.  But that is half a bag, and that's all I had.  It really cooks down.)

Top the spinach with the ricotta cheese mixture.  Spread evenly to cover.

Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is set. -- When I read that I though, huh?  But you will be able to tell when it is "set". 

A written version of this recipe can be found here