Background on Holiday Stuffing: It’s that time of year again. Time for cooking and baking to the max. Time for comfort food, movies, books, and cuddling up with a throw on the couch. And even with all the grief and sadness that this week has held for me, God’s daily blessings of grace and mercy have come out on top.
I was blessed to have four Thanksgiving celebrations this year: one with friends, one at work, and two with family. The number of celebrations was a surprise, as well as the fact that my son made it home to visit. This served as a constant reminder of the goodness of God.
Except for the Thanksgiving celebration at work, fore each celebration, I decided to make Holiday stuffing and cookies as my contribution to the meal. The concoction that I had in my head and put into action didn’t disappointment. Sometimes my mind starts going, and after cooking and tasting the end result, I am left with thinking, “Oh, this didn’t turn out the way that I thought.” However, that wasn’t the case this time.
What I realized is that the spicy kick of the seasonings helped to make this stuffing a hit. I hope that you’re feeling adventurous enough to try it for yourself.
Here is the recipe for Holiday Stuffing:
2 bags of Whole Foods 365 Multigrain vegan stuffing
small bag of petite rainbow or orange carrots or 1 large bunch of orange or rainbow carrots
1 bunch of celery
2 bunches of purple or red kale
a container of broth
4 tablespoons of each of the following: onion powder, cumin powder, curry powder, turmeric, thyme, sage, parsley, and chili powder
Directions for Holiday Stuffing
Prepare the vegan stuffing in a large saucepan as directed on the package.
Saute the onions, kale, celery, and carrots in a separate large saucepan, adding 2 tablespoons of the above seasonings into the pan.
When both are done, add 2 tablespoons of all of the above seasonings into the stuffing, and then dump the vegetable mix into the vegan stuffing mix.
Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon, adding 2 cups of broth and stir.
Place the Holiday stuffing into a casserole pan or two, and then into the oven.
Background on Almond Cookies-Lately, I have realized that baking and cooking does the same thing for me that writing does. First, It helps to open up those creative and healing juices. Secondly, it helps me to see the unending possibilities of connecting certain things together.
When you are writing, one thought can connect to five other thoughts, and then, in turn, inspire you to a Holy Spirit-infused bible story and revelation. When you are cooking and baking, one ingredient can get the wheels turning to the possibilities for other ingredients. And with me, this starts the whole beginning of my concoction madness.
Within the last week, I have baked over 120 cookies. It was therapeutic, as I was using my hands, measuring, adding a dash of this and that. And then at the same time, praying that everything came out fine.
I finally tried out my “head idea” of making almond cookies. Of course, as you know me, I added oatmeal of course. However, these Almond cookies turned out so “almondy”, and of course, that isn’t a word, that you don’t even notice the oatmeal. The slivered almonds added a nice, extra crunch to the cookie.
A week ago, I made the recipe again. However, I substituted the slivered almonds for pecans just to try out something different. I promise you, they didn’t disappoint.
Here’s the recipe:
Yields about 24 cookies
Almond flour -1 1/4 cup
Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cup (Rolled Oats give a chunkier look and feel!)
Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
Almond Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
Slivered Almonds- 1/3 cup (Can also substitute with pecans!)
Almond Oil- 2 tablespoons
Almond milk- 3/4 cup
Flaxseed Meal – 2 Tablespoons
Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk
Use a small cookie scoop to make the balls, making sure that you press the side of the bowl with the cookie scoop to get any excess liquid off
Place scoops on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets
Bake at 330 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
Last week, I had a sweet tooth for cookies. And so, on Friday I purchased some pecans, and got to making this desire a reality on Sunday after church. I was surprised that they came out pretty good since it was my first time trying out the oatmeal raisin cookie combination.
I will definitely have to make these cookies again. If you are feeling adventurous enough to try them out, send me an email and a picture letting me know what you think. Have a blessed week!
Total Prepping and Cooking Time
oatmeal- 1 1/2 cups
raisins- 1/2 cup
almond milk – 1 cup
chopped or whole pecans – 1/2 cup
sugar – 1/2 cup
almond flour – 1 1/2 cups
flaxseed meal – 3 tablespoons
Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl using a whisk or wooden spoon.
Using a cookie scoop, grab one scoop at a time, making sure that you press against the side of the bowl to rid of any excess liquid.
Place the scoops on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
As our kids are in the process of becoming young adults, it gets more and more challenging to carve out connection time. They have their lives. You have yours. And to top it off, if both of you are working, then you are presented with even more of a challenge.
About a week and a half ago, my son was home to visit. We were both working and extremely busy. However, we were able to carve out some connection time together a little bit before he left, and we decided to explore listening to French music, catch up on each other’s lives, and make vegetarian meatballs.
I hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.
Here’s the recipe:
1 pack of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican crumble (little bit of a spicy kick to it) per bowl
4 teaspoons of chili powder, garlic powder, parsley, cumin, curry, onion powder, and garlic powder per bowl
1 pack of shredded cheese
1/3 cup of oatmeal
2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
4 eggs (2 per bowl)
Place one pack of vegan meat in two medium sized bowls.
Add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal, oatmeal, seasonings, and desired cheese amount per bowl.
Mix the ingredients in each bowl.
Grab two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.
Use one cookie sheet per bowl.
Use a cookie scoop the size of your choice to scoop the meatball mixture, carefully leveling off and pressing the scoop against the side of the bowl to solidify the mixture.
Place the cookie scoop as close to the parchment paper as possible and then release the ball onto the sheet to reduce crumbling.
Heat on 325 degrees for about 25 minutes and drizzle with barbecue sauce when done.
What are some of the things that you like to do for fun with your young adult children?
My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.
After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.
Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.
Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:
5 medium beets
3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons of minced onions
dressing of your choice
3 medium green bell peppers
6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
1 tub of mixed green salad
6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices
Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
Cut the beets into wedges.
Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
There are times in life when we don’t know which way to go. During these times, if we seek the Lord, then our mission, our purpose, and his will becomes clearer. Of course, it also means that we have to still do our part. Our part involves intentionality, setting goals, and aligning our will with his. We also need wisdom discerning in whom we should confide God’s great revelation.
This poem was written as a reflection of some of the different ways in which God speaks to us. We like to put God in a box. We often forget that God has an infinite way of relating to us, and allowing us to hear his voice. When Elijah was in the process of running away from Jezebel, God revealed Himself to him. Elijah had put God in the box of coming to him in a “great and mighty way”. Instead, he whispered to him in the still, small voice. God knows what we need, and when we need it. He is a God who meets us right where we’re at.
He Speaks! He Speaks!
But where will it be?
In a message, in a song, or the birds in a tree?
Will it be in the coolness of the wind blowing at night?
Will it be in the calmness of the crickets singing in flight?
Will it be in the morning when the rabbits talk to squirrels?
Or the munks tunneling through grass, and the robins dancing a twirl?
Will it be in the waves that are splashing at the beach?
Or the smiles of the saints as they’re waving “Hi” to me?
Will it be in the sun that is setting in the sky?
Or the swans overhead that are reaching by and by?
When he speaks, will I hear him, same voice as before?
Episode 46: We Are All Qualified Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:10:38
We Are All Qualified Podcast Outline
Qualifications for Job Positions
Qualifications for Prayer Warriors
5:13-18We Are All Qualified
Being a prayer warrior is one job that doesn’t require a special set of qualifications. We don’t have to worry about God looking at our application, and going, “No, I am sorry, but your resume doesn’t meet the qualifications for our idea candidate. I will keep your resume on file for a year just in case something else comes along.” We are all broken. And because of this brokenness, we are in the perfect position for God to use us. The bible gives us one example after the other of how God used a bunch of mixed up, messed up Christians to do his work. What does the scripture say about the combination of prayer and broken people?
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18, KJV)
These verses hone us in on knowing what the requirements are to getting our prayers answered: 1) willing hearts, 2) consistency, and 3) fervency (intense passion). Let us all be mindful of this as we prepare our resume for review.
Dear God, We thank you for giving us examples in your Word of how you used broken people like us to pray and do your will. Please help us to be consistent and committed when it comes to getting our prayers answered. You tell us in your word that if we delight ourselves in you, that you will give us the desires of our heart.
It is amazing how we are all are wired up differently, and with this wiring, we all have different things that take us back to childhood. For the last few nights, I have been taking a quick five minute walk in the neighborhood in order to get a whisp of the slightly cool, fresh air and to hear the sound of the crickets. These two things have been my favorite since I was a kid. They remind me of visiting my relatives in Memphis and hearing the calming effect of the crickets at night.
About a week ago, I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. My mind landed on the box of pasta that was still in the cabinet. I decided to jazz it up with my two favorite ingredients for most meals: spinach and diced tomatoes.
Here is the recipe:
Total Prepping and Cooking Time:
1 box of penne pasta
2 jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce
1 tablespoon of thyme
3 tablespoons of parsley
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of cut-leaf spinach
1/3 cup of quinoa
1/4 cup of oil
Boil a pot of water, adding the oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking.
Add the pasta and the quinoa once the water has started boiling.
While the pasta and quinoa are cooking, saute the spinach and diced tomatoes.
Drain the pasta and quinoa in a colander and dump them back into the pot.
Dump all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and stir.
Eat and enjoy!
Food for thought:
What foods do you eat, or activities do you participate in that take you back to your childhood? Would love to hear your comments!
Episode 43: The Big “D” Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:17:30
Have you ever been divorced? Do you know of someone who has been divorced? When you found out that this person was divorced, did you treat them differently? Today’s podcast is entitled, “The Big “D”, and that “D” stands for divorce. Click above to listen to the latest podcast episode.
It has been said that divorce is worse than death. There was a time when the word divorce was taboo. Older television shows reflect these ideas. When children mentioned that their friends’ parents were getting divorced, they were shushed by their parents, and/or the parents came up with an excuse as to why Johnny or Susan couldn’t play at the neighbors’ house anymore. They were outcasts.
Prior to getting divorced, I heard
someone use the phrases “It’s no big deal.
People get divorced every day.”
This is true. However, what is
also true is that you don’t have people lined up to tell you the real impact
from divorce. Divorce leaves lifelong
effects in every area: financially,
emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. Basically, there is no table left
Grief experienced from divorce can be
draining. With this pain, you must
grieve the loss of the marriage, the loss of the family as a unit, and then
grieve that part of your identity that is being taken away. There is no magic formula for the intensity
of the pain or the amount of time that it will take to heal. My grief so far tends to run in spurts. The grief might be off and on all day for
three weeks, and then there is a month break before it starts up again. I have had other women tell me that theirs
was every day for two hours for the length of anywhere from two to five years.
There are some individuals who have
gotten divorced because of severe abuse that has gone on for years. In Malachi 2:16, we are told, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for
one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye
deal not treacherously.” (NASB)
It is possible for God to heal marriages from
any situation, even the ones listed above.
However, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that one person can
fix the whole marriage. As individuals,
we can only do our part. We cannot be
the Holy Spirit for others. I am a
planner. I like organizing, analyzing,
and figuring things out. I thought that
if I could just do A, B, and C, things would be fine. If things weren’t getting better, it was
because I hadn’t figured out the right formula yet. Satan led me to believe that I was responsible
for the entire relationship.
He led me down the path of
dishonoring God, and disrespecting myself and children “all in the name of
love”. The best thing that we can do is
pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then in turn get professional
help for ourselves. It is easy to pass
judgment upon others who are considering divorce. However, the truth is, only the individuals
involved in the marriage are aware of the severity of the situation. I stayed in a toxic situation for twenty
years. Thank God for Him getting a hold
of my heart and mind. We can pray the
same thing for others whom we know of that are walking in this path.
We thank you for your word to go to
when we are unsure, and don’t know where to turn. Please help us to help others by sending them
to your word and prayer when it comes to decisions about divorce. We also pray that we would not pass judgment
upon others when they are going through divorce because we don’t know the whole
story. Only you do.