Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Change Your Mind




Sometimes we just need to change our perspective...



a complete change of view from where we have been...to help us figure out where we want to go next...



and sometimes our minds need a rest, so that our imaginations can soar to new heights.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Map of Heaven Preview : Chapter Five





Chapter Five
The Second Dream: In the Home of the Artist
“Hope makes all the difference in the world…it might even save your life.”


Monday, October 13, 2014

The Perfect October Dinner - Individual Stuffed Pumpkins - Kid Friendly Yet Elegant Enough for Date Night at Home



Here is a meal that the entire family can enjoy preparing together, has infinite varieties to suit everyone's taste and it's fun to make! 

This recipe was inspired by a recipe for stuffed pumpkin from Dorie Greenspan's wonderful cookbook: Around My French Table. I've adapted the recipe by using individual sized pumpkins and using different ingredients for the stuffing. 

But that's the beauty of this recipe...you can change the stuffing ingredients to what you have in the pantry or your personal tastes...for instance, if you want a vegetarian meal: skip the sausage and add in eggplant, mushrooms, and spinach that's you've quickly sautéed in olive oil. 



Would you believe that this delicious meal can be prepared in just 10 minutes and then bakes for one and half-hours at 350F degrees...which leaves you plenty of time to get the kids to do their homework, while you relax and enjoy a glass of wine with your spouse.



Three easy steps:



1. Clean out the invidual pumpkins...the kids can do this while you cook the spicy Italian sausage.



2. Each pumpkin is stuffed with equal amounts of torn rustic bread, cooked sausage, and cubed cheese. Then you pour cream over the top to moisten the stuffing.


3. Put the top on the pumpkin, place it on a baking tray, put it into the oven at 350F and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the pumpkin is soft when poked with a fork. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, take the top off the pumpkin so that the cheese and melt and brown.

Take it out of the oven and serve...stir the stuffing in with the pumpkin and enjoy!

A sure way to get the family together for a weeknight dinner.

Please let me know what you stuffed in your pumpkin!

Love xo,

Suzanne


Friday, October 10, 2014

Where Do You Turn When You Need Answers?



Try this: write down your question on a piece of paper, in the form of a letter to God.

Then sit quietly in meditation and prayer and speak your question to God, as if you were speaking with a friend. 

You are.

Then, open up your Bible and see what God has to say to you about your question. 

Can you find a message that He wants to share with you, to give your guidance, comfort, and the answer you're looking for?


                              ~ * ~
“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
 “So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
    bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
    exuberant with applause.
No more thistles, but giant sequoias,
    no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God,
    living and lasting evidence of God.”

Isaiah 55:10-13

I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.

Love xo,

Suzanne 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cookbook Review: Meat and Potatoes by Rahm Fama





At first, I hesitated to order the MEAT AND POTATOES cookbook because over the course of the past six months I've changed my diet to a 'mostly vegetable' based diet. Where I used to eat meat seven days a week, I now have meat twice a week.

Which is not to say that I dislike meat...I love a good steak. Or a grilled veal chop. And bacon is still my friend....

However, my changing the frequency of eating meat has elevated its place. I expect more from the experience, I want it be special.

Which is a perfect way to think about meat's place in our health conscious diet.

And luckily for us, Rahm Fama's cookbook: MEAT AND POTATOES meets that criteria with flying colors.

Fama has created a cookbook of menus in which he takes familiar meat based dishes, puts a tasty twist on their preparation and then pares them with unique side dishes that will have you reaching for this cookbook the next time you want to impress your family with the comfort of meat and potatoes, but with healthy, taste-forward combinations.

Here's a couple menu combinations from MEAT AND POTATOES that I liked:

Five-spice (slow cooker )BBQ Pulled Pork 
Seasame Brown Rice Cakes
Curry Pear Slaw

Using a slow cooker is my favorite way to prepare pulled pork...Fama's recipe gives turns the usual BBQ flavors on their head with the use of Hoisin sauce, balsamic vinegar, and pineapple juice.
I also think that adding pear to slaw is inspired.


Waffle Fried Chicken
Buttermilk Biscuits
Maple-Bacon Collards

A fun way to combine the popular waffle and fried chicken flavor combination. And as a big fan of collard greens, I can't wait to try Fama's recipe for collards with maple and bacon.

In all, this is going to be my new go-to cookbook for the special days when I add meat into my diet.

Highly recommended!



"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

P.S. If you enjoy reading / crafting / cooking and FREE books, go to Blogging for Books and check out their wide selection of books available for review. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Map of Heaven Preview : Chapter Four






Chapter Four
Carpe Diem: Elizabeth Decides
Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel to truth, follow beauty, and obey love.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quick and Easy Chicken Fingers and Red Cabbage Slaw




It's a perfect autumn day here in my corner of Colorado, so we're enjoying lunch outside on the deck. 

I'm keeping it quick and light to match the feeling of the day. I had chicken fingers soaking overnnight in kefir (tastes just liike buttermilk, and you can use that as well to tenderize the chicken meat and give it great flavor).

Then I place about a cup of flour in a gallon-sized zip top plastic bag, added pepper, season salt, and all-purpose herb seasoning, mixed it all togther and then began adding the pieces of chicken fingers a few a time, sealed the bag, and gave it a good shake to coat the chicken.

After that, I fried the chicken in a little bit of canola oil to brown, and then placed them in a 350F oven to finish cooking.

For the slaw, I finely chopped about two cups of red cabbage so that it looked like thin shreds of red confetti. I used a box colander to shred a handful of carrots. Then, since I had a bit of fennel bulb, I shredded that and added it in as well. Combining the cabbage, carrot, and fennel in a bowl, I mixed in a quarter cup of mayonaise and a teaspoon of vinegar...you can use your favorite...a teaspoon of celery seed and a good grinding of pepper. And that's it!



The entire lunch is ready in less than thirty minutes, which give us time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful golden aspen in our backyard.

Love xo,

Suzanne

Ingredients:

 1 lb chicken breast cut into tenders

1 cup flour

season salt, pepper, no-salt herb seasoning

oil to fry the chicken


for the slaw:

2 cups red cabbage

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup grated fennel bulb

1/4 cup mayo

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon vinegar