Thursday, February 27, 2014

kitchen life [[tabbouleh]].

[Tabbouleh] this was one of my summertime dinner favesss.
so i'm vicariously enjoying the summer in the frozen tundra through food.

super easy, and delicious.. and with 40grams or more of whole wheat per serving.. who can go wrong?

2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quick-cooking bulgar wheat, such as Bob’s Red Mill
2 Tablespoons olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
¼ medium red onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt

bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan.
pour in the bulgar, cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 1 hour; drain.
combine the bulgar, olive oil, and lemon juice in a large serving bowl.
mix in the tomato, parsley and onion.
season with the salt.

note: tabbouleh is best when made ahead; at a minimum let stand for half hour before serving.

[I could eat this just by itself,, but the hubby prefers it with some grilled sausages].

[[majority of my recipes are taken from The Fresh 20 by Melissa Lanz. you can find her website here.  ]].

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

kitchen life [[Coconut Curry-style Fish w/ Lime Coconut Rice]].

[Coconut Curry-Style Fish with Lime Coconut Rice]

the hubby wasn’t too stoked about this when I told him what was for dinner,,
low and behold.. it’s loved and requested.

for the coconut curry-style fish:

 lbs boneless, skinless fish fillets (any variety), at least 1 inch thick
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1½ cups coconut milk

-wash the fish and pat very dry. Cut into 2 inch pieces
-heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high-heat
-add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes.
-add the tomatoes and sauté for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently to break up the tomatoes
-add the cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir to combine, and cook for 2 minutes.
-add the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, add the fish, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the fish is opaque throughout.
- serve over rice.

for lime coconut rice:

1 cup coconut milk
2 limes, juiced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups prepared brown rice

-bring the coconut milk, lime juice and salt to a low simmer
- stir in the prepared brown rice and cook for 5 minutes until heated through and some of the liquid is absorbed.

the narrow path.// of seeds, and olive trees, and the Son of Man who paved the way.

these days. this journey.

“what is this life we live?”

a friend responded.

brief, and but for a moment.

yet full of opportunity to bear fruit,, and fruit that
REMAINS. [[for eternity]].

[you are walking the narrow path. keep your eyes on Me].

hard. and rugged. often untraveled by most. Winding and twisting, through unknown terrain. Footing often unsure. Usually just enough light for the next step you must take. Fully exposed to the elements of life.
rain. and wind. and heat. Storms and valleys.
distractions and discouragement pressing in.
with the mocking of those trotting down the path, wide and easy,
and yet leading somewhere they don’t even realize. [there is a way that seems right unto man, but its end is death].

and so we choose to lose this life now, for His sake, so that we may find it.
life and life abundant. that which He came to give.
the way of the narrow path.
not the easy one.
but the one we can walk, with the Lord set always before us.
not the popular, common, socially acceptable and politically correct one.
but the one where we can lay eyes on the face of the Son of Man.
because there is no where else we'd rather look.
and no other face we'd rather be set on.
knowing fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
even as we walk the way pioneered before us,
by the Man who was despised and rejected.
a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
seeing true beauty,
following the Man who had no beauty that we should desire Him.
experiencing full freedom,
walking in the steps of the Man who was oppressed and afflicted,
the One who suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps.

in the steps of the One who grew up like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground…
 a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots that bears fruit.

and we are born again, not of perishable seed,
but of imperishable                                 (1 Peter 1:23)

[[the seed of Christ.]]

“seed [the chief means of plants reproducing themselves].
the fruit that is produced by the plant contains the same seed that the plant originally was started by.
this is what guarantees the same identity within the species.

[no seed can produce a lesser plant than the plant it came from. As is the seed, so is the plant and so is the fruit.]”
                                                                                        (such a great salvation, Mike Petzer)

and we know our identity is in Him.
Christ in us, the hope of glory.

the only hope of walking this narrow path.
the only hope of keeping our eyes fixed on Him.
the only hope of glory, both now and then.

because with fear we know,
that for the man who walks the wide, easy way,
 “who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction”,,
God will snatch and tear and uproot him.
                                                                  {psalm 52:5-7}

but with David our hearts sing,

“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”
                                                                                  {psalm 52:8}

and just as He came up like a root out of dry ground,
and just as the olive tree is known for it's durability and constancy, despite conditions,
we will grow and thrive in any circumstance.
no matter the storms or the heat,
we will continue to bear fruit.
no matter how dry the ground,
we live from the streams of living water within.

and just as the olive tree is a symbol of faithfulness and steadfastness,
we will walk this narrow way of life,
steadfast to the end.
useful and set apart.
a source of substance, light and healing to those around us.

bearing fruit,  
and planting seeds in the wide, and easy path.
to see life spring up.
and man’s true identity restored.

because Jesus knew,
that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone…”

and He knew what He had to do,
 “…but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (john 12:24)

and He set His face to Jerusalem,,
for the joy set before Him.

in order to reproduce Himself within us.

and so we die to ourselves.
we lose our lives, for His sake.
for what we sow, we shall reap.
and we sow the Seed within us.
to reap a harvest for His glory.

because He is the Seed that fell into the ground
and died.
and He is the Plant that sprang up and produced much fruit—us.

  what is this life we live?


but the life laid down,,
and born again.

and the fruit bore,,
on the narrow path.


Monday, February 24, 2014

kitchen life [[sweet potato toddler (&mom) muffins]].

[[sweet potato toddler (and mom) muffins]]

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed sweet potato
½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons canola oil (or applesauce)
¼ cup milk
1 egg

preheat to 375.
mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
in a separate bowl mix the mashed sweet potatoes with the brown sugar, oil (applesauce), milk and egg.
combine the sweet potato mixture with the dry ingredients.
put into greased muffin tin, or use muffin liners.

bake for 15-20 minutes.

[the mixture is always pretty thick, so i found adding a little bit more applesauce at the end helps make them not so dense, if that’s what you prefer & mine are always done at 15 minutes].

Friday, February 21, 2014

kitchen life [[hummus]].


two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
juice of 1 lemon

2 garlic cloves
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon tahini (recipe posted below)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sweet hungarian paprika

(jazz it up with any other spices/seasoning, more garlic, etc).

in a blender, combine all the ingredients except the paprika and pulse on high speed for 30 seconds.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and puree until smooth.
adjust the consistency and thickness to the desired level by adding the oil a little at a time.

sprinkle with paprika.
just before serving drizzle a little oil on top if desired. :)

and viola! healthy snack with pita chips, veggies, etc..
or put it on sandwiches/pitas :)


1 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup olive oil

heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.
add the sesame seeds and toast lightly, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning.
remove from heat and let cool.
add the toasted sesame seeds to a food processor or blender, pour in the olive oil, and pulse on high for 2-4 minutes, until the tahini is somewhat smooth.
scrape into a airtight container, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Side note: i actually use sunflower seeds instead of sesame seeds.
i did it on accident once, and actually like the taste better. who knew? :)

kitchen life[[homemade bread]].

[[whole wheat honey bread.]]

2 packages regular active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

in large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add honey, butter, salt, 2 1/2 cups very warm water and 3 cups of the whole wheat flour. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Beat in remaining 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour.
With spoon, stir in 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from side of bowl.
On lightly floured surface, knead in remaining 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour; continue kneading 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with shortening or cooking spray; place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Generously grease 2 (8x4- or 9x5-inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. Shape dough into loaves; place in pans. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat oven to 375°F. Uncover dough; bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Immediately remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

[side note: i bake for 25 minutes and then rotate loaves when i lower the temperature, and then bake for only about 7-8 minutes more. i also wrap them in damp towels to keep them moist].

kitchen life[[baked oatmeal]].

i've never done this before.
and it may be very short lived..
but regardless, what else do you do the morning after a snow storm, except cook and bake and then blog photos of it?

                                      [[baked oatmeal.]]

1/2 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce if you prefer)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
3 cups oats
(i added blueberries:) )

preheat oven to 350 degrees.
mix oil(applesauce), brown sugar and eggs.
add the rest of the ingredients- oats last.
mix and pour into a greased 8x10 baking pan.
bake for 30 minutes.

serve with a little greek yogurt, honey/fresh fruit.
and yum.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

how easily can the [Visible Image of the invisible God] be seen in you?

[[i have set the Lord always before me]]

the phrase that finally, truly, accurately put into words,
the intention and desire and fruit of this past month.

and its been consistently flowing through my mind.

and as i set my face to seek Him one morning,
eyes peeled, ears tuned,
hands wide open,
saying, "Daddy, speak"

i opened the pages
containing those strewn together letters
that are spirit,
that are life, ,
and there it was..

"i bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
i have set the LORD always before me;
because He is at my right hand, i shall not be shaken."
                                             {psalm 16:7-8}

and He started to bring meaning.
having such a way with words as He does.

[before]- "neged"
what is conspicuous, what is in front of; straight forward, in sight of; before your face;
in your view or purpose.

and it comes from the root word "nagad"- to be conspicuous, tell, make known, announce, declare, confess; [messenger].

[conspicuous]- standing out as to be clearly seen; readily visible; attracting special attention.

i have set Jehovah right before my face,
in my sight,
in my view,
in my purpose,,
morning and night daily,
for all eternity.
nothing hindering or distracting my sight of Him. He is clearly seen,, readily visible,, what i can't take my eyes off.

and naturally,
because that is where i have positioned Him in my heart, my mind, my soul,,

He is what will stand out in my life.
He is the One who will be seen.
the attention will be drawn to Him.
my words, my thoughts, my actions, my motives, my desires, my lifestyle,
they will declare, announce, make known who HE is.

and i have decided, by His power, by His grace, by His Spirit,
to let nothing crowd Him out.
but walk with tunnel vision.
to not turn to the right or to the left,,
but keep Him straight in front of my face, always in view, always in my purpose.

and to live this pilgrimage as a [[messenger]],
in every way,
shouting and declaring who He is,
until i physically behold His face right in front of mine.

sadly,, the reality
is that Christ is all too inconspicuous in us.

[inconspicuous]- not very easy to see or notice; something that doesn't stand out or attract attention; discreet, hidden, concealed; unspectacular.

and i look to the Author and the Finisher of my faith,, because He set the Lord before Himself, always, perfectly.
constantly in the intimate presence of His Father,,
persevering,, walking always in His will..
[by maintaining a constant and actual sense of the presence of Jehovah].
and i know,
when He is at my right hand,,
the place of authority, honor, dignity and rulership,,

i have His promise,  that i won't be shaken.
i won't be moved.
i won't waiver.
in any situation. in any trial. in any circumstance.
because He will be what i see.
and it's in His presence that i'll be.

untouched by the world.
on a pilgrimage.
to see His face.
" i have set the LORD always before me;
because He is at my right hand, i shall not be shaken."
                                             {psalm 16:7-8}