Tag: recipes (page 1 of 2)

Soul Food for the Beloved

Before anything else this weekend, ask yourself: What does it mean for me to “live loved”?

What does your life look like when you are living confidently out of your true self – a beloved child of God, regardless of titles, circumstances, losses or gains?

When I was asked that question recently I thought of the total freedom of being unselfconscious (like when I dance along with Ellen and Michelle Obama) I think of the Message paraphrase of Mt. 11:28-30. I feel like I live lightly, freely, in the unforced rhythms of grace.

My friend Kathy has a wonderful blog, and recently she posted this song. Take a listen while you think about YOUR answer to the question.

So we’re at the end of week 2 of the Spring It Up mutiny against March! Personally, I’ve be fortunate to add “Escape to Florida” as an additional prompt, but before I did, the day 3 prompt was: Clean out one drawer, shelf, or closet. Make room for spring!

So, in an effort to force myself to complete this, here is what I did. I dumped all the clothes from 3 drawers in a mountain on my bed so I would HAVE to do something in order to go to sleep that night.

Then I did the Joy? No joy? method of sorting and folding (Remember Emily doing this on Gilmore Girls – a Year in the Life?).

I loved this that I saw on Instagram 🙂

Last Sunday we hosted people for a brunch, which may be my favorite meal. I tried a new blueberry/banana muffin recipe I found on Pinterest, but it wasn’t a keeper. However, I will share with you ONE OF THE BEST SECRETS EVER.

Are you ready?

COSTCO CINNAMON LOAF!! (not online) Scathingly brilliant and soooooo delicious! I have a friend who buys it and re-wraps it in foil so it looks like she baked it. And it freezes GREAT!! Trust me and you’re welcome!

Along with the so-so muffins and delicious cinnamon bread, we had a version of the salad I posted recently, bacon/brown sugar wrapped smokies, and two kinds of quiche.

Years ago when I was growing up, we had a young couple move in next door to us. The woman was beautiful, artsy and classy and loved all things French. Her name was Madeline and my mom and I were in awe of her. She invited us over and made this crab quiche that became a family favorite.

Madeline’s Quiche

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (I pre- bake about 10 minutes at 400)

Mix and pour into pie crust: 

1/2 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise

2 TB flour

2 beaten eggs

1 ts. salt

1/2 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2

8 oz. shredded swiss cheese

7 1/2 oz can of crab (I honestly like the fake crab the best in this, and use more than called for)

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 til firm and slightly brown.

(you can make the filling the night before and then pour it in the crust and bake it in the morning)

If you don’t follow thedailyst on Instagram, you should. Have you guys seen this yet??? Just the BEST!!

 

Lastly, I’ve been doing a Bible study on the tongue which made me think of this quote (YIKES!):

Have a delightful weekend!

with joy,

Laura

Soul Food to Spring it Up!

Monday I wrote about an experimental mutiny against the month of March and invited you into our Spring it Up challenge.

I really hope you’ll join in for part or all of the days. You can still print up an attachment of all the prompts and put it on your fridge. Send me pictures and/or post on Instagram or FB with the hashtag #springitup!

Here are my adorable friends Ally and Kit dressing pink on Day 1.

We had our small group on Tuesday night and did 2 of the challenges at once. I encouraged everyone to wear pink, and we brought things that made us think of spring.

I made the recipe that has been our little family’s go-to for spring.

D.C. Spring Ham and Asparagus Sandwiches

Brace yourselves because the directions are a bit complicated.

  1. 6 slices of deli ham (a little thick – 1/8″?? I don’t do math)
  2. 6 slices of swiss cheese
  3. a bunch of asparagus
  4. a package of dry Knorr Hollendaise sauce mix
  5. 2  tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls

Cook the asparagus to tender crisp.

Open the crescent rolls and pinch together every two triangles to make rectangles.

Layer a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, and 3 stalks of asparagus on each rectangle. Roll up and pinch dough to seal. Put seal side down on cookie sheet.

Bake according to crescent roll instructions.

Mix up hollandaise sauce and drizzle on top of finished sandwiches. Bam! Done!

Heather brought sparkling pink lemonade, Cara brought tulips, Cathy brought a late Valentine gift wrapped springy, and Molly made a wonderful easy salad – berries, goat cheese, spring greens, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing!

This past weekend John preached on stewardship of our bodies, and included an interview with our friend, Lee Blum, who has a powerful story of overcoming an eating disorder and continually wrestling with the question of “How do we live out of our true self, not how the world says we should be or look or act?” 

(If you can’t see the embedded video on your email, click on the title of the post and open in your browser)

Lee Blum Interview (short version) from Christ Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

Lee has also written two gripping books, A Table in the Darkness,* her memoir, and Brave is the New Beautiful *, in which each chapter is focused on a different characteristic of courage. Lee “weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically.”  It also has great discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend both books and suggest you consider “Brave” for a small group if you’re looking for some honest discussion.

If you’re reading this on email or on your phone and want to comment, just click on the title and then scroll down!

*Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

Soul Food For Valentines Day

I don’t care if you’re married or single or widowed or dating or whatever…in my mind Valentine’s Day is a chance to remind everyone that God’s banner over us is love, that God Himself is our ultimate husband, champion, warrior, shepherd, redeemer…

What better reason to celebrate, right?!

Spoiler alert: Not to be sexist, but if you’re a guy, or if you’re in a season with toddlers and NO TIME even to go to the bathroom, or you hate recipes or being “crafty” you may want to delete this right now. Ok, I’ve warned you…now carry on.

A couple of years ago at Easter, my friend Heather gave me this vase within a vase, filled with multi-colored jelly beans on the outside. I thought it was so cute I decided to adapt the idea for Valentine’s Day. Warning: Unless you choose a candy you don’t like, it’s hard not to eat the decorations 🙁 !

I’ve made star shaped croutons to give away at Christmas before, so I thought I’d try heart shaped ones.

Parmesan Croutons

English Muffin bread

Olive flavored cooking spray (I used butter)

Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

Place slices of bread on jelly roll pan and put in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and use small heart cookie-cutter to cut croutons (I found them at Michaels).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat bread stars with cooking spray. Toss bread stars with cheese, salt, and pepper. Bake 10 minutes or til golden. Put in cellophane bag to accompany soup you drop off for a new Mama.

This salad recipe from my friend, Kitty doesn’t call for croutons, but it’s awesome and seems Valentiney 🙂

Salad part (you figure out how much 🙂 ):

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Green onion
  • Either raspberries or strawberries
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Blue Cheese
  • Candied pecans or almonds

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar

1/2 cup salad oil

1 t. salt

1 t. dry mustard

1/2 cup sugar

Blend in blender and add poppy seeds

I’m hosting a couple of gatherings over the next week so I pulled out the bunting I made last year.

 

Soul Food Favorites For a Birthday Girl

Today is our daughter, Katy’s birthday. She is a thoughtful follower of Jesus. She is kind, loyal, soft-hearted, intelligent, driven, responsible…The short version of her job description as liaison between USAID and the Hill is “to make congress care about global poverty.”

In short, she’s amazing. And no, I’m not prejudiced at all. In honor of her, I thought I’d devote this post to some of her favorite things.

First, like all Crosbys, she is a West Wing groupie. Our family speaks in West Wing dialog, and watch the episode “Shiboleth” every Thanksgiving.

via GIPHY

Second, like her father, is a VORACIOUS reader. Here are two books I’ve read recently that I know she’d love. I recommend them to her and to you.

Small Great Things is an amazing fictional account of a black labor and delivery nurse, a white supremacist who accuses her of killing his baby, and a public defender. Picoult writes chapters alternately in the voice of these three characters – an incredible challenge! I thought the book helped me better understand racism, white privilege, and stereotypes. Great read!

Third, she is a foodie. She is beloved by her co-workers and interns because she is always bringing them treats. She shared this recipe that she tried recently and loved from Half Baked Harvest.

Cream of Mushroom Chicken Wild Rice Soup.

  • prep time: 15 MINUTES
  • cook time: 45 MINUTES
  • total time: 1 HOUR

yields: SERVES 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 2 ounces wild mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1/2-1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Instructions

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often until the onion is soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cremini mushrooms and the wild mushrooms, cook another 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are caramelized. Stir in the thyme and cook another minute longer. Remove the pot from the heat and ladle out half of the wild mushrooms. Transfer the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Add 2 cups broth and pulse until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Return the mixture to the soup pot and add the remaining 4 cups broth plus 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to boil and stir in the rice and chicken. Cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken has cooked through. Shred the chicken in the pot. Stir in the milk and parmesan. Season the soup with salt + pepper. Simmer the soup for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.

Lastly, her love language is cute dogs. She knows the names of every one on her walk to work and befriends them everywhere.

So Happy Happy Birthday Sweetie, and the rest of you, have a delightful weekend with glimpses of God’s grace!

Cozy Soul Food for Cold Winter Days

Happy Friday!  Hope you all have a terrific weekend and get out to bike if you live where it’s warm, or cross-country ski like I’m going to try to do here in the frozen tundra, or just cuddle up by a fire with a bowl of soup. Enjoy a few things I’ve found this week.

 Bustle is an Instagram feed I like and this made me smile and groan in agreement the other day.fullsizerender-135

But then there’s Obama’s farewell that inspires, and there are videos like this that, in spite of the short days and winter stretching out looooong ahead of us, just give us hope.

 

I told you last week I was going to try this. Before I share, a couple disclaimers:

  1. I totally butchered the original recipe and basically made it up as I went along. Other than sautéing the onion first, I just threw it all together and let it simmer a long time.

  2. I cut down on the spice, but it was still a tiny bit spicy (we are TOTAL wimps in the spice department). However I liked it enough to pass it along.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Meat
  • 1 1/4 lbs Chicken breasts, boneless skinless (I used rotisserie off the bone)
Produce
  • 1 (15 oz) can Black beans
  • 1 cup Corn, frozen (I froze a bunch of fresh last summer and used more than a cup)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and chopped (1/4 cup) (I omitted)
  • 1 (15 oz) can Pinto beans (I omitted)
  • 1 (15 oz) can Tomatoes with green chilies (I used Mild Rotel)
  • 1 1/2 cup Yellow onion
Canned Goods
  • 1 (32 oz) carton Chicken broth
Baking & Spices
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oils & Vinegars
  • 1 tbsp Canola oil for sautéing the onion
Dairy
  • 1 cup Cheese
  • 2/3 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 1/3 cups Milk
  • 1/4 cup Sour cream
I cut the cream and milk back, but used more (light) sour cream. I served it with tortilla strips on top and extra cheese and sour cream.
 Got scarves cheap to use instead of placemats for winter theme.
Lastly, I just finished reading A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White.

Note: This is a beautifully-written, thought-provoking novel, but is graphic in places and not always comfortable to read. It is about the intersection of three outcasts – an old African- american woman, a wealthy 40-something divorcee, and a young gay man, son of a pastor from the south. Most of the book focuses on the young man and I found his nuanced story very compelling.

51kxpcybxal-_sx325_bo1204203200_

Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

Soul Food for a Holiday Hangover

One of the things I hate about post-Christmas is the disappearance of shiny things. I texted my daughters that I wish twinkle lights were appropriate decor year round. Maggie replied that if I lived in a dorm room they would be.

Since I don’t, I like to try to think of what will cozy up our home after Christmas and not leave it looking so bare.  Candles, soup, snowmen, mittens, fires in the fireplace… I’ve collected plaid scarves on sale to use as a runner down the middle of my table, and cross-wise instead of place mats.img_2203

Tonight I’m trying a recipe for Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. If I don’t kill anyone I’ll share it next week, but for now…

I didn’t ever try brussels sprouts til a couple years ago, but I adapted a recipe at Thanksgiving and could probably live on it alone all winter. Here you go, and you’re welcome!

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • 6 Slices Bacon
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary, fresh
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a large baking sheet, season brussels sprouts, bacon, and garlic with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and toss until combined.
  2. Bake until brussels are tender and charred, 30 minutes.
  3. Drizzle balsamic glaze over roasted brussels sprouts and serve.

gallery-1475509302-delish-balsamic-bacon-brussels-sprouts-pin-06
We saw several movies over the holidays, including Lion, based on the true story of a boy in India who gets separated from his family as a 4-year-old. It is intense and slow towards the end, but also very moving and beautiful. Michael Gerson wrote a fantastic article here on the story and its parallels to spiritual homecoming.

I’m trying hard not to buy as many books this year, so one of the eleventh-billion books I got on reserve is Wonder.

41nzpgermyl-_sx328_bo1204203200_

Loved this book that is really probably for pre-teens, but is amazing – about a 10 year old boy with a facial deformity. One of my favorite quotes from this book is:

“Everyone deserves a standing ovation once in their life.”

Another book I have on hold at the Library (that I’m still waiting for) is Chip and Joanna Gaines, The Magnolia Story.

51wiwazu2rl-_sx331_bo1204203200_

I loved this blog post that Chip wrote about living a restoration story!

If I misjudge people and am wrong, I want to be wrong having assumed the best about them. Chip Gaines

I wrote Tuesday (?) about my One Word for 2017. If this is something you’d like to explore further you might take a look at the YouVersion 4 day Bible reading plan around discovering your word for the year.

img_2181-large

 

 

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

A Little Merry for Your Christmas Mess

So this was my update the other day on Instagram.

img_1904

Since then another bough has fallen down and it’s still too cold to get out and fix. I didn’t mention it, but our tree looks like a hot mess this year (if that’s even possible), and there’s a big snowstorm coming in tonight – the night of our staff party.

Can we all make a pact and say “Let’s laugh and roll with it!”?

So today on the blog, just a little joy and help to make this week easier…

First, the easiest appetizer that is the one everyone always asks for – Cheesy Crab Bites. You can make these wayyyy ahead and have them in your freezer ready for whenever (New Year’s Eve?)

img_1899

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz. of crab
  • 1 stick of butter
  • small jar Kraft Old English cheese
  • 2 TB Hellmans
  • 1/2 ts. Lawrys seasoned salt (I’ve also used garlic powder or garlic salt – you can play with amounts)

I soften the butter and cheese in the micro-wave for about 20 secs then mix everything together and spread on English Muffin Bread. Freeze for about 15 minute and then cut into squares. Freeze til ready to use (can store in freezer bag)

Bake at 350 on baking sheet for about 15 minutes or til as done as you like. I’d do these in small batches cuz they’er best right out of the oven.

img_1901

Secondly, I came across a brilliant idea this week that I thought I’d pass along – use a lint roller to get up all those stray pine needles that drive you crazy! I think there’s a bigger version of lint roller I’m going to look for, but this works!

img_1888 img_1898

And a little joy for your day…John and I rang bells for the Salvation army this week. We looked nothing like this.

And lastly, when Katy was little, one day she took me by the hand and led me over to the manger scene under the Christmas tree. She sat down and pulled me down next to her. “Sit. Stay. Watch.” she said. This week, I hope you’ll take time to just sit and watch. Look at Jesus, look at your Christmas lights.

img_1906

 

Soul Food to Celebrate Life

If you’re a mama or if you’re not, this is a great weekend to celebrate Life in every expression! Here are a few things that were life-giving to me this week.

Our daughter Katy works as liaison between USAID (humanitarian aid) and Capitol Hill. She sent us this video that made us all cry. Powerful stuff!

If that one made you cry, this video will bring a smile. During a season when there’s so much focus on what divides us, this is a reminder of the things that we can celebrate together.

Favorite Instagram. Nuf said.

FullSizeRender-100

A beautifully written book I read this week was Purple Hibiscus. This amazing book is written in the voice of a 15-year-old girl living a life of privilege and abuse in Nigeria. It brings to life all the sights and smells of the culture and all the intricacies of family dynamics.

512j05BiSRL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, but it would also have been my brother David’s birthday.

IMG_3523

He had the gift of hospitality, always drawing people together and welcoming them in. He was also the Grillmaster. So in honor of David I’m sharing our favorite turkey rub recipe from one of our friends. We call it Turkey ala Bob. It’s awesome!

1 clove minced garlic ++

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup coarse sea salt

2 TB minced onion (I use the dried kind)

2 ts. crushed red pepper flakes (I cut this way back cuz we don’t like spicy hot)

2 ts. coarse ground black pepper

1/2 ts. EACH cloves and allspice

Pat turkey with oil. Rub in marinade. Double bag for 2 days.

To grill use a aluminum drip pan and grill for 11-13 minutes a pound. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Read more here.

And lastly…

Happy happy weekend!

Soul Food for the Week After Easter

On Fridays I try to post just a few of the things that have delighted or inspired me, and resources you might like – the “soul food” from my week.

I would love to hear about your “soul food” in the comments too! Just remember, if you’re posting for the first or second time it won’t appear immediately, but it WILL show up eventually 🙂

Monday I wrote a hard post that many of you resonated with. On Tuesday, Ruth Haley Barton posted an eReflection from her excellent book, Life Together in Christ. that is a great follow-up to my post. You can read her thoughts here: Continue reading

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.

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

(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.”

IMG_3076

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:

IMG_3094

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?

Older posts

© 2017 Laura Crosby

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑