Vegetarian Santa Fe Salad

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here's a yummy one that I have now made twice in the past two weeks. Translation= It's good!

I found this one on The Pioneer Woman's website...remember...she's my favorite. On her site there is an area called Tasty Kitchen, where folks from all over post their recipes.  This recipe was posted by One Mad Housewife.

So try this has lots of yummy beans, corn, red pepper, avocado....easy & good for ya!

Mini Pallet Signs

Monday, March 19, 2012

You've seen these cool pallet signs on Pinterest right? I think they are so neat and believe I could get carried away with these and completely fill my house with them.

I ran across this great idea from U-Create for the cutest Mini Pallet signs.  How clever! They are so smart over there!  Check these out!  They would make great gifts too!

Go over to U-Create for the full tutorial on how to make these!
Simple list of suppplies and easy to make!

What Makes Us Think We'd Be Happy With More?

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

Healthy and Pretty and's Quinoa!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's all the rage. Quinoa (KEEN wah). I have seen it on menus and on recipe sites. I think I may have eaten it once without knowing it...

I ran across this recipe recently. I admit I stopped because it was a pretty picture.  I do that. Anyway I have been seeing lots of  pins lately for quinoa recipes.  So I took another look.  Turns out it is very healthy! How 'bout that...and you can cook something pretty with it.  Healthy and pretty...hmmmm....

Anyway I printed out the recipe and thought "I'll make this sometime...of course when there are just girls around to eat it." Then when at the grocery store I didn't have the recipe with me.  It happens a lot.  So I tried to remember the ingredients.  Not usually good for me to do.  But I actually did pretty good and got it all (or had some of it) except for mangos.Oh yeah and the lime juice (I just used lemon juice instead) But  I forgot mangos.  I bet the mangos were the best part.  Oh well.

Here's the pretty picture from The Tasty Kitchen that made me stop...and want quinoa!

I made this recipe last night (con mangos and lime juice).  Our local grocery store had one...yes just one...type of quinoa.  It was a flavored pepper something. Anyway, as it turns out, quinoa is good.  And healthy.  And easy to cook.  

I encourage you to try this recipe if you are looking for healthy...and pretty...and easy.

I found the recipe on The Tasty Kitchen...which is on The Pioneer Woman (remember she is my favorite). You can click here to download and print the recipe.  Come back and let me know if you try it...I hope you remember mangos!

Here's the not so pretty, really blurry, I need a new camera pic of my Confetti Quinoa...but it is evidence that I indeed did make it!

Confetti Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette 

Blueberry Cornbread...of course!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I ran across this recipe for Blueberry Cornbread today and just couldn't help myself...I had to share it. And I am going to HAVE to make it! I mean when have you ever seen blueberry cornbread? 

I could use local fresh ground cornmeal from Dellinger's Mill.  I can pick it up at The Market on Oak anytime!  For now I will have to use frozen blueberries, but it won't be long until we can pick local blueberries too! 

But one question I have is...what do you eat blueberry cornbread with?  Well I don't know...maybe I will just eat it by itself!:)

I found this recipe at BlackJack BakeHouse. There are some other really interesting recipes there too! 
Gonna have to check those out soon! 

You can go to Black Jack BakeHouse here and get the's pretty easy...which I appreciate and pretty much require.  So go get it and let me know if you whip up a pan of blueberry cornbread before I do!

What {Who}Deserves Your Gratitude?

The Best Ever Lasagna....really!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Okay I haven't always liked sharing recipes. Even when someone shared them with me.  There are nice people in the world....sharers.  But sometimes I feel that when I find a great recipe I should keep it to it is a treasured family heirloom recipe.  Ancient Chinese secret..ya know? But I am trying to be a better recipe sharing person. (Since I am a really bad recipe stealer) It does make me feel kinda good after I have shared a good one! 

This recipe wasn't shared with me...but it was there for the taking. (see what I mean?)  I LOVE Ree Drummond...The Pioneer Woman.  I bought her cookbook and followed her blog BEFORE she had a Food Network Show.  She is cool.  I want to be her.  This is Ree's Best Ever Lasagna recipe.

Anyway, so far I haven't tried one of her recipes that wasn't great.  Sometimes best ever. And this is one.  SO....I am being one of those better people and I'm sharing.  For the few souls who might see this post...congratulations! You win! It's your lucky day! Trust me!

So here is the link to The Pioneer Woman site where you will find The Best Ever Lasagna Recipe.  Make it! I did! It's good! Share if you like!

And just so you know...the best part is there aren't any fancy smancy probably have these in your cabinet...or at least you know which aisle they are on at the grocery store!

(Photos from The Pioneer Woman website)

When There Are No Words...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It has been over a month since my last post. I just haven't had the words.

On February 1st our family lost a large part of our heart in the passing of my nephew. At the age of 41 Brian was loving, kind, funny, generous and amazingly talented. Less than two years prior to Feb 1st, Brian lost the love of his life to Lymphoma. His heart was broken and never repaired. Left behind are their two children, ages 19 & 15 with questions and heartbreak beyond what their years can fathom. And my sweet sister and brother-in-law are broken hearted and lost.

With my sister and her husband serving as pastor and pastor's wife for nearly a quarter of a century, one would think they are prepared for loss. They have guided many of their flock through the pain and grieving of their own loved ones. But it is different when it is your own child. They are no longer pastor and wife...they are mom and dad. And now executors of an estate and all that comes with that. They are trying to go back to work each day now, with a strong face, but their hearts are shredded. I can't imagine.

Each day I think of Brian. Even though we lived hundreds of miles apart, and I didn't talk with him every day, I miss him. I miss the thought of him being an email or text away. I can't believe he is gone. I keep trying to allow myself to picture him with his wife Ann, walking the streets of heaven hand in hand. Happy again. No more heartbreak and longing for the love of his life. As a brilliant graphic designer, I picture him "sprucing up" heaven with his designs. I know he is happy now, no more pain or sorrow or grieving. No more stress of raising two children alone. I know that.

I am faced with the reality that I can't help. Not really.
I know that my sister knows I love her and would do anything even though we live hundreds of miles apart. But other than my daily prayers for them, I realize there is nothing I can do. And that breaks my heart again. She and her husband are hurting, suffering, grieving, lost and I can't help. The only thing that stayed in my head during the days after losing Brian and throughout the funeral were the words from a song...
You are God alone, from before time began, You were on Your throne, You are God alone. And right now, through the good times and bad, You are on Your Throne, You are God alone.
These words kept swirling through my head. They helped me focus on God during the absolutely unimaginable "why?" days that followed. Only God can help them through these dark days. They know that. They know God. They have seen His work. But when you have been knocked to your knees, it is hard to look up.

I read a story recently of a woman who suddenly lost her teenage son, her only child. She was talking about how to help the grieving and she said "the person experiencing deep grief is in shock. Their mind has shut down. They have difficulty concentrating. They can't handle reading serious or lengthy literature or listening to long sermons. Charlie Walton, who lost two teenage sons, and authored the book, When There Are No Words, said "I have decided that… at least for the first three months of your grief… your mind is somewhere else. You walk. You talk. You sit up and take nourishment. You appear to be fully inhabiting your body. But… if someone had the power to look inside your skull… they would see a note on the kitchen table of your mind. The note would say, 'Make yourself at home. I'll be back in three months.'"

I believe that. I believe my sister and brother-in-law are going through the motions right now. I am strengthened knowing that God goes through the motions with them. When no one else can help, when friends and family try but their words are empty, I know that God is there with them. At three in the morning when they lie awake because their minds won't let them sleep...God is there. I pray each day for their strength, healing of their broken hearts. I pray for Brian's two children who in less than two years have lost both their parents and now have been separated to allow for family to care for them. I know we aren't suppose to ask "why?" But I think God expects us to anyway. He knows.

When someone you love loses someone, it is so hard to know what to do. Words often fail, so it is often said to express yourself through a loving hug, a handshake, even a simple touch. Just being there is a ministry. Charlie Walton wrote a whole chapter on hugs in his book, When There Are No Words. To explain the benefits of a hug, Walton begins by saying there is no way to quantify the pain of grief. He says: Pain doesn't come in pounds or ounces or gallons. You just feel like you are standing before a mountain that you are going to have to move one spoonful at a time. It is a task you can never hope to complete… a mountain that you can never hope to finish moving. But… as you stand surveying that mountain of grief… a loved one steps forward with a hug that communicates clearly. You can almost picture that person stepping up to your mountain of grief with a shovel and saying, 'I cannot move the mountain for you… but I will take this one shovel full of your grief and deal with it myself.' It seems to me that every hug helps dilute the pain a little more… that every sincere hugger carried away a small quantity of the mountain they were facing. "

I want my sister and brother-in- law to know that I stand with them with my shovel.  I want to help them move this mountain. I know that their friends, co-workers and family also stand beside them with their own shovels too.  We will move this mountain Linnie.  With God's help...we will move this mountain.