Thursday, October 29, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

This is great breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. You can easily add any meats or substitute whatever cheeses and veggies that you have on hand.

-1 homemade or store bought pie crust
-6 eggs
-3/4 c heavy cream
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-2 c broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
-1 c cheddar cheese

In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Stir in broccoli and cheese. Pour into pie crust. Place quiche on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes, until the center is just set.

Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Sweet and Spicy Rosemary Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

These are by far my favorite pumpkin seeds I've ever eaten. I modeled the recipe after my favorite roasted nut recipe because I love this combination of flavors. This recipe easily doubles or triples based on how many pumpkin seeds you have on hand.

-1/2 c pumpkin seeds
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 Tbsp brown sugar
-1/2 tsp curry powder
-1/4 tsp rosemary
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/8 tsp cayenne

Boil pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes, drain and blot dry with kitchen towels. In small bowl stir together the oil and spices. Toss with the warm, just boiled pumpkin seeds. Spread pumpkin seeds out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday Noah!

Happy 5th Birthday Noah!

This year you;

 started school and have been attending pre-K. it was a bit of a hard adjustment with you (and me) crying everyday for the first week, but now you have adjusted and tell us that everyday was the "best day yet". you have made several friends in your class and are learning so much. you have great behavior and understanding of the material at school and I am so proud of you.

continued to play soccer and have really improved your abilities over last year. now you play actual games every Saturday. you have scored goals every game and scored as many as 6 and 7 in a single game, being the high scorer for your team. it has been so much fun to see you really apply yourself to something, do well at it and learn how to come out of your shell and go for it on the field.

last week when we played the ungame with friends you said that your favorite place to go is church because they give you candy and you learn lots of things. you  have several friends at church and I love that out of all the fun things that we regularly do (trips to the zoo, museum, chick fil a etc) that church is your favorite place to go.

you are such a fun, silly, energetic, creative, confident boy. you are rough and tough yet thoughtful and caring. you love to be the center of attention and to do tricks for or tell stories to people. you get lonely and bored when you don't have someone to play with and you always want to be around other people.

you love to dig in dirt, go to playgrounds and the zoo, wrestle with your daddy and brother and do just about any craft from playdoh to painting or coloring. this year your main interest has been dinosaurs, so we threw you a dinosaur 5th birthday party, but you have also been into superheros as well. you have a vast knowledge of dinosaurs and can identify them and tell us names that your daddy and I have never heard of. you can also tell us which dinosaurs came from different time periods. you say that the indominus rex is your favorite dinosaur. you say that you want to be a paleontologist when you grow up.
you love to play games like I Spy and Hide and Go Seek.

you love our family and when we are all together. you love your brothers so  much. when you get a treat you always want to make sure that Eli gets one also. you want to pray for Zeke every night before bed.

Noah, your dad, brothers and I love you so much!  you bring so much adventure, fun, excitement and joy to our lives. you make us laugh and help us to not take ourselves too seriously.  you make me more aware of my words and actions and the example that I set. you give me a reason to be better, to be slow to anger and quick to seek and extend forgiveness. you teach me about childlike faith and expecting and believing big things from God.

you are destined for great things, my son!  you are going to take the spiritual legacy and inheritance that your daddy and I give you and go so much further with it.  you are going to change the world.  you are going to be a leader of men and a lover of people.  you are going to walk in the power of God and a supernatural lifestyle.  you are going to do "greater things".  you will be like Noah, and will walk in righteousness despite the depravity around you.  you have found favor with God and are His chosen instrument.  you will be a mighty man, a man who walks with God always seeking His heart. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mixed Berrry Cobbler

Mixed Berry Cobbler

This cobbler is very versatile, you can use your favorite combination of berries, all of one type of berry, or really use any fruit that you like. I've also used frozen berries straight from the freezer, just increase the baking time by at least 10 minutes. I've doubled the recipe to fill a 13x9 pan and feed a crowd and I've used whole wheat flour instead of the all purpose flour and no matter what I do, this turns out delicious! You can eat it as is, or my preference is to serve vanilla ice cream scoop over the top.

-1 cc plus 1/4 c sugar, divided use
-1 c flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 c milk
-4 Tbsp butter
-3 c (fresh or frozen) mixed berries or your choice of raspberries, blackberries or blueberries

In a medium bowl whisk together 1 cup of the sugar, the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk and butter. Pour batter into the bottom of a greased 8x8 dish. Top with the berries. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until the dough has risen above the berries and browned nicely.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Roasted Chickpeas

 Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are an easy, healthy, inexpensive, vegan snack that you can customize however you like with different flavor combinations. I've listed the two pictured below (Indian Spiced and Salt and Vinegar) but I also intend to experiment with Buffalo and Chili Lime flavors over the next week.

Indian Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

-2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tsp curry powder
-1 tsp garam masala
-1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Dry off chickpeas by patting them with paper towels or a kitchen towel. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and all of the spices until well combined. Stir chickpeas with spices until well coated. Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven when they reach your desired crispness. Cool to room temperature and store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas

-2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp salt
-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Dry off chickpeas by patting them with paper towels or a kitchen towel. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and salt. Stir chickpeas with oil/ salt mixture until well coated. Spread chickpeas in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven when they reach your desired crispness. Drizzle the vinegar over the chickpeas and stir to incorporate. Return chickpeas to the oven for an additional 1-2 minutes to allow vinegar to soak in. Remove chickpeas from oven, cool to room temperature and store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chipotle Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Chipotle Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
This is a hearty vegan dish as is, or you can add ground turkey to please the meat eaters. Serve with an assortment of toppings such as cheese, sour cream, cilantro, chopped scallions and diced avocado.
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-15 oz diced tomatoes
-1-2 c vegetable broth
-1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
-1/2 Tbsp chili powder
-1/2 Tbsp cumin
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1 Tbsp sugar
-your choice of cheese, sour cream, cilantro, scallions or avocado for topping
 Heat oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.

Monday, September 28, 2015

::this month::


(thank you elizabeth lafargue photography for our beautiful recent family/ baby bump photos)

it's been about a little over a month and a half since my last update so here's about 45 days worth of updates on us...


(thank you sarah becker photography for some sweet hospital photos of us and baby zeke!)

ezekiel "zeke" jeremiah was born friday september 4, and him and i are both doing great and recovering well. this recovery has been harder for me than the births of our other 2 sons but now, by 3 weeks post arrival i am in fairly little pain and am easing back into our normal routines of seeing friends, running errands and getting out of the house. zeke is absolutely perfect and is so far a fairly laid back and flexible baby. the boys are completely obsessed with him and want to see him, hold him and touch him all of the time.

most of the last month has been spent preparing for and adjusting to life with a new baby, so we haven't had too much extraneous stuff going on. jeremy's next book is mid-editing and cover design process right now though, and we hope to have it out in october or november so we will be busy finalizing that and getting ready to release it.  here's the blurb from the back of the book to give you a taste of what is to come;

So you’re free! 
That’s great!
Now what?
You’ve been swept into new realities of grace and freedom. You’ve grasped the truth that you now possess absolute liberty in the unconditional love and grace of a truly wonderful God. You’ve dipped your toes in the abundant pool of new possibilities. But you know this is only the beginning. What does being free really mean? Where do you go from here? How do you even begin to define the possibilities? Are there limitations? What barriers stand between you and realizing true greatness? There’s clearly a lot more to life now, and you long to experience all of it.
So come on. Dive behind the scenes into one man’s divine expedition. Follow Jeremy far into this land of discovery. Learn with him to tap into the greatness of God, to face longstanding fears, and to emerge on the other side owning a life which absolutely bursts with abundance. You can explore the very heart of God and, discover the full measure of your own true identity and calling. Together with God, you can co-create a vibrant, rewarding new life.


that zeke is here and that me and him and are both healthy and doing well and our family is adjusting well to our new addition.

god's faithfulness and answers to prayer. i've seen several "smaller" prayer requests answered over the last month in my life and the lives of friends. god has been so faithful to provide for the needs and desires of me and so many others and i am just so grateful to know a personal, relational god who is always present, who hears prayers and answers them, and for whom no request is "too small" or "trivial".

for our continued adjustment to life as a family of 5.
for god to provide financially, physically/ skillfully and relationally for our desires (that we believe are from him) and the upcoming projects that we've been working on.


psalms,  john, ezekiel, galatians, philippians, colossians, ephesians, savor, fringe hours, scary close, for the love, love does

thankful for:
i am still thankful daily for our home that we fought and prayed for over the course of so many months. i look around regularly and am humbled and grateful that we get to live here. that all of our needs and many of our desires were provided for and exceeded. that we have such a perfect space for our family to settle, make memories and host others. this house is such a gift and i hope that i never start to take it for granted.

family, friends, community, the body of christ. i am utterly grateful for all of the ways that people have blessed us over the last month with gifts for baby zeke and us, with prayers and encouragement, with thoughtful acts of service, with a months worth of cooked meals being delivered to our house daily and more. i have felt so loved and cared for. i am incredibly grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of others. for the way god loves us through his people. for each of these tangible displays of love of such a perfect heavenly father.

the beginning signs of fall appearing in stores and restaurants. although it won't feel like fall here for a while, and it will definitely not be scarf/ sweater/ boot season for a while here, i am enjoying seeing and tasting fall inspired items as they pop up and give hope that some cooler weather is in our future.

lots of sweet baby snuggles. sweet baby grunts and sounds. new baby smell. hours spent nursing and snuggling this little one making me slow down, sit still, and the numerous books that i have already enjoyed during said nursing time.

for my "job". the fact that i get to spend my days with my boys outdoors playing and exploring.


{click on the words to see the recipe}
not too much, a few odds and ends before zeke arrived or extra items as our schedule permits. mostly we are just enjoying a month of having other people cook for us.

slow cooker pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin french toast, chai bars, pizza with rosemary whole wheat crust, curried chicken pasta salad, huevos rancheros, chicken sausages on buns with sautéed peppers, caesar pasta salad, parmesan tilapia, {turkey} sausage and cheddar breakfast casserole, linguine with clam sauce, carbonara, vietnamese iced coffee, sweet potato and black bean quinoa bowls, fried rice, gumbo, whole wheat pumpkin oat chocolate chip muffins, white chicken chili, cornbread, fish tacos, refried black beans, chocolate fondue with fruit, cilantro lime slaw, chana masala, red beans and rice, jill's salsa, pumpkin gingersnap cookies, mexican rice bowls
some low key decorations for noah's upcoming october dinosaur birthday party. seeing as how we have a newborn, this may be one of the more low key parties that i've thrown, but it has still been fun to plan, brainstorm and create some ways to make my dinosaur loving boy's birthday special.

not too much. we are taking things a lot more slowly around here this month without many commitments or activities as we settle into life with our newest addition. i like the slower pace of life that we settle into when we have a newborn around. we're soaking up many evenings of our whole family all being home together and tinkering around the house.

we've still been regular with our weekly community group and worked in a few coffee dates for me and j and a few playdates and dinners with friends. noah started soccer again this month so we will be spending monday evenings at practice and saturday mornings at games. and this month our new mother's of pre-schoolers group launched in lakeview, at which i'm a table leader, and i am super excited for the meetings and playdates over the course of this year with this community of mothers.


i have been thinking a lot about self-care over the last month. about how i am not good at asking for help or communicating my needs. about how as a wife, mother, ministry person, friend {and more} i am often faced with the reality of meeting the needs of others rather than considering my own. about how sometimes (especially as an introvert) that leaves me worn out and needing time alone to refuel and recharge. and i'm left wondering if this whole self-care concept is biblical or cultural or both. in our society and time we have such large focus on the individual, on our personal wants/ needs/ desires/ dreams. there are many benefits of these lines of thinking but there are also passages in scripture that seem to point us in a very different direction;
philippians 2:3-4 do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
and here it sounds clear. clear that we are to look to the interests of others, not our own. this sounds like the opposite of the idea of "self-care".
but does our cup first need be full to overflow? do we fill up our cup by focusing on it and intentionally pouring into it, or as we go about life, not focused on our cup, do we ultimately find that in the act of not focusing on our cup that our cup has become full. that we have been filled through the pouring out, through the serving and blessing of others, through the laying down of our own desires and needs.
we already have the source of all hope, joy, life and love living inside of us. it is only natural that our cup be full and overflowing with those attributes. it shouldn't be work to overflow but should be effortless.
and i wonder if the whole battle isn't possibly in our mind. in our perception of whether we are "full" or "dry". i wonder if the solution isn't found in the renewing of our mind mentioned in romans 12:2 and ephesians 4:22-24. in the meditating on god in and with us always. in the remembering that we have been given living water and that we should not ever have a thirst or hunger again as we have been fully satisfied in him. and as we remember these truths our "needs" fade into the background and the needs of others become more urgent.
and i also remember how jesus took time to be alone and pray. how he would withdraw from the crowds at times. how old testament prophets took lots of time to be alone with god and communicate with him. how after paul encountering god and receiving the revelation of the gospel of christ then took 3 years before embarking in public ministry. i think about how for my relationship to thrive with my husband, or kids, or friends that i need to regularly invest time one on one with those people in order to connect with them in a way that is deeper than how I would connect with them with others around. and so, there's an element of our relationship with christ that must be nurtured/ developed/ deepened/ built in a place of intimacy, where we set aside all other priorities and distractions and focus on him. and in this focusing on christ, on him in us and with us, we should become aware of his fullness in us. we should be aware of how he has given us all things and made provision for every need that we have. he is the fulfillment of every need that we have.

and still, god has given us each passions and desires to pursue. he has uniquely and purposefully formed and created each of us. and maybe by calling the activity of the passions and talents that he has given us "self-care" it makes them sound more selfish and less spiritual, but everything is spiritual, and in fully tapping into our passions and talents we are fully living as who he created us to be, fully displaying him in us to the world around us

so perhaps my whole discomfort with the idea of "self-care" in in the term itself, and the connotations that i've attached to it, but a life of thriving in our giftings and of purposeful times of intimacy with our maker is not selfish or something to be avoided in the name of serving others and putting them over ourselves. so maybe this whole self-care idea isn't an either/ or. maybe it's not a choice of putting myself or others first. maybe it's a both/ and built out of a life of intimacy with christ and knowing who we are in him.