Tag: music

Soul Food for Darker Days

It’s here – the darker season. We’ve turned the clocks back. The days are shorter, colder, cloudier.

Halloween is over, but Thanksgiving isn’t here yet.

We don’t have the lovely snow of winter to distract us and the gray days can make us feel a little Eyore-ish.


Hang in there! You’re gonna be ok.


Last Sunday was All Saints Day, when we as a church remember the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us. At our church we have a time of reflection and prayer as we scroll through pictures of those who have died this past year on the screens. This is a song that our worship leader, Heather Moen sang. It was beautiful and comforting.


Ironically, I was set to post a soup recipe, when I re-read this delightful quote in Shauna’s Bread and Wine that is just perfect:

“Soup is cold-weather-dark-sky food. Soup is peasant food – odds and ends, bits and pieces, a way to stretch a piece of meat or a handful of rice… Soup is the wool sweater, not the little black dress. It’s the cardigan with elbow patches, not the pressed shirt and tie.”

This soup recipe isn’t from her, but is a favorite from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup (I know mushrooms aren’t everyone’s jam, but my husband loves them!)

4 TB butter

1 TB (or less) curry powder

1 lb mushrooms sliced

1 lg onion chopped

1/3 cup flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 #1 cans pumpkin

5 TB honey

salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in lg. pot. Add curry powder and cook 1 min. Add mushrooms & option and sauté.

Stir in flour and cook 3 min.

Sitr in chicken broth and pumpkin

Brind to boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Sitr in honey and simmer 10 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Can garnish with sour cream.

Makes 10 generous servings.


I wrote a post awhile ago about wanting to hear/see the better stories…the ones that inspire us to something higher. There are three movies based on true stories that I have loved lately. Take a look:

Victoria and Abdul


Goodbye Christopher Robin

And my movie maven friend, Heather, also recommended this one. I read the book and am going to see the movie today:

Same Kind of Different as Me

What have you seen or read lately that has been uplifting? Share in comments?

Have a great weekend!

Soul Food for Super Bowl Weekend

Yay Weekend!  I know these Friday posts are such a hodgepodge, but I hope you each find something to delight, inspire, or motivate you.

Some of you will be into the Super Bowl, some not, but I pray this weekend God will meet you and refresh you in ways that only He can.

First, a quote from my friend, Sharol Hayner. Her husband, and our friend, Steve, died just over a year ago.

As for us with my brother’s death, this has been a year of absorbing the reality of loss and trying to choose joy, and envision life again.

Sharol sent an update this past week which included this reflection. Her image has been one that has rolled around in my head all week. It is beautiful and hopeful and maybe as helpful to you as it’s been for me.

Grief is like living in a house with many rooms, each with a different name: sadness, anger, fear, celebration, remembering, joy, gratitude.  A friend suggested that the key to abiding in this house is to leave the door to each room unlocked and even opened. I frequently visit these rooms and will occasionally get stuck in one of them. I’ve learned that I must keep the door open so that I can get out. This has been helpful when a room overwhelms me and I am tempted to lock the door from the outside and never enter or lock the door from the inside and never leave. I will always live in this house as it is God’s place for me. But the house itself isn’t named Grief. It is named Life.  There will be new rooms in time. Gratefully, I don’t live there alone. God is always there, ready to meet me and walk with me into each room. Many of you are there with me as well.

Along those same lines…If everything in your life feels broken, this may be the song you need today.

Any I have to share my favorite picture of the week – Muslim girls waiting to fist-bump the president, taken after Obama gave a speech in Baltimore against anti-muslim rhetoric.


(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“There are voices who are constantly claiming you have to choose between your identities. … Do not believe them. … You fit in here. Right here. You’re right where you belong. You’re part of America, too…You’re not Muslim or American, you’re Muslim and American. And don’t grow cynical.”

On my nightstand…The Art of MemoirYou guys! Oh my goodness, this book! It has me obsessed. Each sentence feels like I need to chew it like a cow chewing her cud, squeezing every bit of flavor and nutrition out of it.

And there is so much there to absorb! It is fascinating whether you’re an aspiring writer or a reader. One of the reviewers wrote: “…Anyone yearning to write will be inspired, and anyone passionate to live an examined life will fall in love with language and literature all over again.”


Here’s a sample…

“That’s the quality I’ve found most consistently in those life-story writers I’ve met. Truth is not their enemy. It’s the bannister they grab of when feeling around on the dark cellar stairs…”

I took this book out of the library but it’s all I can do not to grab a pen and underline huge chunks of it!

Lastly…For those Super Bowl party goers or watchers...I tried this recipe recently (the easy version) and had people ask for the recipe so I thought I’d share it here as an option for a Super Bowl party this weekend. Enjoy!

Super Bowl Sunday Hot Corn Dip Recipe

So there are two ways to do this – the easy way is by using this or any similar corn salsa you like:


If you use a bottled corn salsa just skip down to the mayo part 🙂

You really can totally play with this, but here’s the “real” recipe:

2 TB butter

3 1/2 cups corn kernels (can use corn from 4 ears of white or yellow corn or use canned mixture)

1/2 ts. salt

1 cup finely chopped yellow onions

1/2 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)

1 jalapeño seeded and minced (I’d omit)

1 tsp minced garlic (I’d use more)

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup (4 oz) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1 cup (4 oz.) Sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Tortilla scoops or Frito scoops for dipping

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt 1 TB butter in leg heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 min. Transfer to bowl
  • Melt remaining TB of butter in the skillet. Add the yellow onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, or until veggies are softened.
  • Transfer to the bowl with corn.
  • Add mayo and 1/2 of Monterey Jack cheese and 1/2 of Cheddar cheese, mixing well.
  • Pour into 8 inch square baking dish (or whatever).
  • Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  • Bake until bubbly and golden brown – 10-12 minutes.

Yield: 6 cups of dip. 12-18 servings.

That’s it for me. What has been delighting, inspiring, or motivating you this week?

Soul Food to Lift Your Spirits

Some weeks are just so…weekly aren’t they? I hope something from this post today will lift your spirits, inspire, or encourage you. Have a great weekend! Continue reading

The Chorus of a Bleak January

I’ve been doing something weird lately.

It’s January and I think most of us are feeling a bit schizophrenic.  Relieved to get back to the predictable routine of catching the bus to work, and grocery shopping, hair cuts and t.v. shows and recycling.

But there’s also the let down of ordinariness and a bleak winter (for those of us in Minnesota at least) stretching out interminably and we’re thinking it would be kind of nice if there was one more gift to unwrap that was forgotten in the rush.


So I’ve been listening to Christmas music.  In January.  I’ve left my Pandora Classic Christmas music station on, and it’s been like with all the noise of other Christmassy stuff muted til next November, God’s voice has a chance with me.

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A Salvage Mission

I love, love, love Christmas cards with the beautiful scenes of pristine snow and a lovely stable and winsome sheep.  I love to imagine the cleaned up version of Christmas.  Like I prefer the cleaned up version of me.


I’d prefer not to face the reality of Christmas that involved manure and labor pains, sweat and body odor and afterbirth.  Jesus didn’t come into a Christmas card, but into a sin-filled dump.

We are fragile and broken and God comes into the junkyard of our lives not with a bulldozer, but with loving hands that sift through our shattered pieces and gently put us back together, better than new.

Recently I read this quote from The Drama of Scripture by Bartholomew and Goheen:

When his good creation was fouled by human rebellion, God immediately set out on a salvage mission.

He had created it, and it thus belonged to him by right. Now he would redeem it, buy it back for himself, so that it might be restored to what he had always intended it to be.”

I love the image of God’s “salvage mission”.

And then I saw this Youtube video that seemed to be a beautiful picture of people literally living out that phrase.

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