Archive | March, 2013

Good Friday-Great Friday

29 Mar
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Photo Credit: Hillsong United

It’s Good Friday. I don’t know if you know why we celebrate this day or not. But for me it’s a Great Friday. You see today marks the day in the Holy Week (leading up to Easter) that Christ suffered and died for our sins. It’s a day we should stop and really focus on the fact that this should have been our day of suffering. 

Last Sunday I heard a sermon about Easter from Pilates point of view. What actually stood out to me in all of that is Barabbas. (Matthew 27) 

You see Pilate didn’t really want to send Jesus to the Cross. He couldn’t find any good reason why he should. But Pilate was the head government official and well he didn’t want to tick off the people. The people, well they seriously wanted Jesus gone. So Pilate came up with what he thought was a good solution. 

The custom of the time was to allow one prisoner to go free. Why anyone would want to celebrate this custom is beyond me but it was the custom. So Pilate thought, I’ll let them decide between Jesus and Barabbas. Surely they’ll pick Barabbas. Why? Well he was a bad dude. You see Barabbas was a rebel, he started riots, he murdered. He was hateful, mean as a snake. Just plain mean. Everything that Jesus was not. Yet, when the choice was presented to the people, they screamed, “Let Barabbas go.” So you see Jesus (in all his innocence) took Barabbas’ (in all his evilness) place.

He took our place. 

That’s right. You see when Barabbas in all his wicked ways walked free and Jesus was lead to the cross, Jesus traded places with us. Everyone of us is a Barabbas. 

So you see it’s really a Great Friday. Because it was once a dark Friday. It’s ok. Three days later, Jesus raised from the dead as our redeemer. 

Pinterest Recipe Boards

20 Mar

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One of the main reasons I became so addicted to Pinterest was the ability to pin all the wonderful recipes I found while browsing my Google Reader (R.I.P). I started with a simple board of Things I Wanna Cook. Well over the past year or so that’s really gotten out of hand. So I decided to sit down and go through it and make separate boards now (plus weed out things I tried that failed or just wasn’t appealing anymore). Let me say it’s hard to decide where to place something, because well it could go in many places. I did my best. Below are links to my food boards, along with my favorite out of each + the one I want to try to most.

EAT WELL
Fave: Carrot Muffins
Can’t wait to try: Chili lime sweet potato chips

PASTAS, BREADS, & CASSEROLES
Fave: Cheddar Bay Biscuits (Red Lobster anyone?)
Can’t wait to try: Mellow Mushroom Pizza Dough

DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS
Fave: Chocolate chip cookie dough + Brownies + Oreos
Can’t wait to try: Apple and Goat Cheese Empanadas + like all of them really

MIGHTY MEATS
Fave: Buffalo Chicken wraps
Can’t wait to try: Copy Cat Chick-fil-a nuggets

SOUPS
Fave: Creamy Tortillini Soup
Can’t wait to try: Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

PARTY FEAST
Fave: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Can’t wait to try: ALL OF THEM. Sorry couldn’t pick a top one here.

On a sad note, some of my pins have gone missing. Another good reason not to place all your eggs in one basket. Happy Cooking!

Turkey Meatballs

20 Mar
Photo Credit: Giada De Laurentiis

Photo Credit: Giada De Laurentiis

I’m usually not a meat person. I’m one of those who really don’t like to touch raw meat, plus as a single person I can’t justify the cost of meat for just me. However, I was in a meat mood. Maybe it’s all the Paleo blogs I’ve been reading but I decided to try my hand at meatballs.

I went with Giada’s mini turkey meatball recipe. So good! I did tweak it a little bit. Those changes are noted in italics. I also added in some diced carrots since I had some leftover which helped me feel a little less meat drenched. I served over zucchini noodles (made by julienne the noodles and boiling for a few minutes). Be careful though with the julienne peeler, I almost cut my wrist using it.

Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 small onion, grated (I threw into a food processor with the carrots and parsley)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (I added just a tad more for binder)
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used aged white cheddar)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey breast meat
26 ounces Newman’s Marinara or your favorite
I also threw in some shredded carrots, Italian seasoning, and chia seeds

Giada has a different way to cook these, but I opted to bake them so here is what I did.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish or two.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl except the sauce. I pulsed the parsley, carrots, and onion in my food processor. I also added chia seeds to the mix for fun.
3. Mix well with your hands and create tiny meat balls. Place in baking dish giving room around each.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until all pink is gone.
5. I let them simmer in the marinara sauce for a little bit while I prepped and cooked the zucchini noodles.

Convoy of Hope

19 Mar

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I’ve always been a fan of Convoy of Hope. What’s that you ask? Here is a little insert from their site.

Since Convoy of Hope, a 501(c)3 faith-based nonprofit, was founded in 1994 we have served more than 55 MILLION people throughout the world through international children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing. At Convoy of Hope our goals are to provide help and hope to people in need in the United States and around world through our children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.

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I admire the outreach that Convoy of Hope provides, not only to improvished places across the globe, but to our own backyard. Convoy of Hope responds with fresh food and water during times of natural disaster (like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy). And the gospel is always preached.

Convoy of Hope is considered a “first responder” organization in disaster relief. With a fleet of tractor-trailers, a 300,000-square-foot warehouse, a high-tech Mobile Command Center and through a scalable distribution model we have been heralded for quickly providing resources and help to victims of disasters worldwide.
We rely heavily on the faith-based community, businesses and national and state disaster relief agencies and organizations. Because of strong alliances, we were one of the first humanitarian aid groups to distribute food in Haiti after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the country on January 12, 2010.

They also work with countries like Haiti to teach skills and nutrition to families in need. It struck me how many families are in need not just of food, but for healthy food. I’ve tossed around the idea for the past few weeks, but after coming to this realization I’ve decided to go full force. You see I’m a chocolate addict. I also adore a vanilla coke like non-other and well I don’t drink sweet tea much but whenever I go out, it’s usually the drink of choice. This past Saturday I had a cup of super sweet tea and I FELT HORRIBLE afterwards. It dawned on me that I should probably give that up when I go out and just make it at home where I can control the sugar level. But it’s hard to push past our temptations. UNLESS, we have a cause. I have a cause now.

I’m going to give up purchasing items that are UNHEALTHY for me so that I can donate on a regular basis so families across the globe can have a chance to eat better. If I pass by the heavy processed chocolate in the store (have you read those labels? They put artificial flavoring in them. Chocolate should be left pure folks), the cokes and sweet teas when I dine out, I can probably afford to donate between $10-20 dollars a month.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (NIV)

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Paul is saying here that we should strive to be equal. If you’re blessed, then bless others. You never know when you’ll find yourself on the other side of the line. My goal is to give up some temptations so that others can have what they need. Plus, in doing so, I’ll be making myself healthier. Sure it’ll be hard cause I adore those things but I think I’ll find far better rewards in letting them go.

If you would like to donate to Convoy of Hope you can do so here and check out their organization.

Sean Tulgetske-Hand Lettering

19 Mar

I stumbled across Sean Tulgetske yesterday. I actually had seen and even loved some of his work before I knew who the artist was, but it’s always nice to finally put a person with a piece you admire. His hand lettering is very inspiring. I’ve broken out the pens and pencils since. Below are a few of my favorites. 

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The above image can even be downloaded as wallpaper for your iphone or tablet here

Enjoy!

Wedding Suite

19 Mar

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Last summer I was approached by Evan of Evan & Co. to create a wedding suite for an inspirational wedding editorial. Evan always creates the prettiest weddings and I was very happy to be able to contribute.

I’ve adapted the suite into two different diy invitations you can order and print at home. You can find them here and here

Follow Evan’s blog to catch more of his doings. 

 

Footsie R-E-S-P-E-C-T

15 Mar

It’s true, our feet are very unappreciated. Just think how much weight they hold up every day. (No, I’m not calling you fat. I PROMISE) But seriously, they hold up a lot of weight. They get us from point A to point B. They even help us keep our balance. I honestly don’t think about my feet much, except on those days when I decide to wear flip flops and notice, “Oh, Hey, I haven’t paid much attention to you lately, and geesh you look rough.” Our feet deserve some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. (You sang that in tune to Aretha right?)

Thus enters my topic for discussion. Foot massages. Not just any sit down and rub your toesies, but reflexology. I’ve heard some about it off an on. The idea that certain reflexes on your feet send healing to others areas of your body based on pressure points. Sounds a little too good right?

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Photo credit: A cup of Jo and the Indigo Bunting

I came across a post today from one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo. She talked about how she had a reflexology session once as a gift and how overall her entire body seemed more relaxed. She worked with her friend, Erin Jang, from the Indigo Bunting to put together this cute at home graphic for a meaning foot massage.

I’m still not convinced about the whole reflexology thing, but I don’t see where a good meaningful foot rub couldn’t do anything but help. After all they deserve it.

What are your thoughts?