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Showing posts from September, 2014

Gorgeous Rustic Slow Cooker White Bean and Kale Stew with Chicken Meatballs and Herb Pistou: Assemble in 5 Minutes, Ready in Two Hours

This is my favorite slow-cooker soup of all time and so simple to make! You can literally throw together the ingredients in five minutes, turn on your slow cooker, and come home to a delicious rustic stew that your entire family will love.

3 carrots quartered and diced
1 shallot or small onion diced
1 small bunch lacinato kale chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 or 3 cloves of garlic - finely diced
2 bay leaves
1 rind of parmesan cheese
2 or 3 15oz cans of canelini or navy white beans drained and rinced
grating of fresh nutmeg to taste
1 package of your favorite pre-made chicken meatballs or  if you want a spicier soup: take 1/2 pound of fresh chorizo ground pork, form into little meatballs and add them to the soup...they will cook with everything else.
Two quarts of low sodium chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of cream or half-and-half to finish
pesto (homemade or jarred) to garnish soup

Here's my quick food processor version...Pistou/Pesto:
1 bunch basil
1 …

Do You Feel Inadequate to Share Your Faith?

Do you ever feel embarrassed to share your faith?
I do.
Which is why I often write about my own doubts and insecurities in my relationship with God, rather than trying to convince anyone else to do things my way.
These verses from the Apostle Paul have changed my perspective.
No matter how inadequate I feel, I don't have to worry. If I am willing to get out of my own way, the Holy Spirit will work through me and take my inadequate words and make them into a Message that God wants me to share with others.
We don't all have to have the same words. After all, we all have our unique and individual relationship with God.
So let's promise to meet each other simply, honestly, and with words from our own heart.
God will meet us there and the Holy Spirit will give us the perfect message to share.
Love xo,

No Such Thing as Writer's Block From God's Perspective

Whenever I'm about to start a new writing project, no matter how excited I am, or sure that it's a great idea, I am beset with insecurities.
For example, this week I decided that a six-week Bible study of Ephesians would be my next Christian living book. I'd been praying and seeking inspiration for a book idea for the last six months, but nothing sparked my imagination so strongly that I knew its excitement would stay with me through the long hours required to bring a book into existence. 
Although I think of myself as a writer of women's novels, my faith is such a central part of who I am that it seemed only natural to write about it as well. For me,  writing is an endless conversation with readers. 
In matters of faith, writing about my walk with God, my fears, my doubts, my wonder of His Love, my frustration with waiting for answers to prayers, are ways for me to share what I believe we all experience. In sharing my experience, I hope to let you know that you are n…

BRASSICAS : A Cookbook Review

BRASSICAS by Laura Russell, is described as 'cooking the world's healthiest vegetables. I would describe it as a practical, entry-level cookbook that will encourage you to add these vegetables to your weekly cooking menus.

For this review, I tried out Laura's recipe for broccoli frittata with pepper jack cheese. In addition to the broccoli, I added mushrooms and some mixed 'super greens' (which included kale, spinach, and arugula) that I had in the 'fridge. The frittata turned out beautifully and was part of a simple and easy brunch to share with a friend who'd stopped by the house.

I'm looking forward to trying out Laura's recipes for 'charred brussels sprouts with pancetta and fig glaze', the 'red curry soup with broccoli and shrimp', but especially, 'broccoli rabe with romesco sauce'...since broccoli rabe is one of my favorite leafy vegetables.

I recommend these straightforward, tasty recipes in this cookbook for anyone w…

A Map of Heaven Preview : Chapter Two

Chapter Two
Into a Mundane Life Comes the Unexpected: A Bottle of Wine and Contemplation of Her Options
If it were not for hope, the heart would break.

How To Make Unexpected Decisions?

From time to time we will face difficult decisions that come out of the blue and leave us breathless. We don't know what to do, or even if we are capable of choosing the right way.
This is when we need to stop...and pray.
Sometimes it is better not to move too fast, just slow down and seek God's will and direction.
Take a moment, or a day, or a week, to sit back and just exhale and trust that our answer is on the way.
Turn to God in prayer. Seek His wisdom through reading the Bible. Sit quietly and listen for His gentle voice to lead us to the right decision.
And fill our hearts with these profound truths:
Trust that God loves you.
Believe that He has a perfect plan for your life.
Deep in your heart, embed the knowledge that whatever you are currently going through is no surprise to God.
He is with you every step of the way.
He will bring you through it stronger and better than before.
God loves you immeasurably.
The passage below is from the book of Ephesians.
It is my praye…

A Map of Heaven Preview : Chapter 1

Chapter One
The Linear Nature of Time and the Deep End of the Pool
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

What to Do When You're Feeling Confused and Alone

"But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." - Galatians 5:22-23

I didn't sleep well last night. I tossed and turned throughout the night, worrying about my career and everything related to that.
When I began my devotions this morning, I read the verse above from Galatians. 
Oh, how I long for that peace.
Then, a snippet from the verse from 1 Corinthians popped into my head and I had to go look it up to get the words just right.
It was an important reminder that what I'm going through may have many reasons, but it's not a punishment from God. 
God is not a God of confusion.
He is the Source of our Peace.
The most valuable lesson I've learned this year is that when I make time to turn to God through the pages of the Bible, and through prayer, I can find peace no matter what I'm facing. 
By reading the Bible, I am learning to see things from God's perspective.
When I was s…

A Map of Heaven Preview: Prologue Two

Prologue Two
The First Dream: In the Gardens of Versailles, Passion Has Its Price
Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them.
–Vincent McNabb

Aloha! Best Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 egs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


Cream together the coconut oil and sugar until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one by one, then the vanilla, and the buttermilk.Add in the self-rising flour. Then fold in the bananas, chocolate chips, and shredded coconut.Pour batter into a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan and bake at 350F for 45 - 55 minutes. The bread will be done with a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.Cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.Cut a slice, slather it with cream cheese, kefir cheese, or creme fraiche...yum!


How to Find Your Calling?

Ephesians 1:17-19The Message (MSG)I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson photo credit: