Unnatural Unity

Some things just naturally go together...a BLT sandwich, for example. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato layered together make a beautiful lunch...add some avocado and you have perfection.
And then there’s some things naturally do not go together – literally in nature like a lion, tiger, and bear, but about 15 years ago a lion, a tiger, and a bear were rescued from terrible circumstances after held in cages under a drug dealer's home in Atlanta. In spite of their natural differences, they were inseparable. Their story made the news and they became the now famous animal BLT -  Baloo the American black bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger
Stories of unlikely friendships and unity in this way capture our hearts. They amaze us and cause us to think about why we all can’t just get along like these natural enemies did. As much as we love it, it simply doesn't come naturally to us, but not only is unity is a beautiful thing, it's our calling. The unity we are taught in God’…

Easy, Creamy, Comforting Tomato Soup

Today was almost the perfect day for one of my favorite comfort food lunches: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese. The perfect day would be about 10* cooler and the sound of rain falling on the roof. But, it's California in January, so, yeah, that's not likely. It's about 65* out and grey skies...close enough! I've worked on this recipe and fine-tuned it over the years, and now it's reeeeeally good and super simple...and quick! I can bring it together with less than 10 ingredients and in under 30 minutes! We're empty nesters which took me a while to get used to as far as how much I cooked. This recipe is the sweet spot for the two of us. It doubles and triples easily also, so go for it if you have more mouths to feed.
My childhood self wants that sweet taste of the canned Campbells we all grew up with and my grownup self wants the savory basily taste of that yummy soup in the fresh foods section at Vons...this makes both me's souper happy!

There's some basic…

Bread and Beauty

Flour is bland at best and really inedible eaten by the cupful. Sugar, while sweet, is too much to take straight by the cup. Leavening is awfully bitter tasting and salt would make you sick if you ate it by the spoonful. But each ingredient comes together for something wonderfully satisfying. The next time you're not sure if the situations in your life are going to work out, bake some bread and thank God for each individual ingredient and remember that when you're called according to His purposes, He makes all things beautiful in their time.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "God makes all things beautiful in their time."

Mix 3 cups sifted flour, 1/3 C sugar, 1½ tsp salt, 3 tsp baking powder, 12 oz dark beer. Combine. The batter will be tacky and lumpy - do not overmix. Spoon into greased loaf pan. Pour over with ½ cup melted butter. Bake for one hour at 375°. Cool 15 min. Serve with a side of Thanksgiving and a heart of Worship. God is good.

How to Have No Regrets in 2018

Since records have been kept, the top three new year’s resolutions have been,  1) Get Healthy  2) Save Money and  3) Read more books then tying for 4th is floss and make the bed. Year after year, they’re the same. What’s the common thread in nearly every resolution though? To better ourselves in some way. To be the person we know we ought to be. To actually floss like we tell our dentist we do? The oldest Psalm in the Bible was written by Moses. He had these kinds of priorities in mind when he wrote, “Teach us to number our days that we might have a heart of wisdom.”  Wow. What if that was our resolution this year? What if, in front of the diet plans, or workouts, or reading books, or flossing, we made our resolution to ask God to show us clearly how to realize what we all already is short. Days fly by. In no time we’ll see Valentine’s then 4th of July then Halloween d├ęcor up and we’ll be back here in 365 days remarking at how quickly it all went. What if this was the y…

Rustic Apple Cranberry Pie

This is one of those deceptively delicious treats that will make you feel happy and proud. If you love to'll enjoy this recipe. If baking - especially a pie crust - makes you feel nervous, you'll love it too! You'll be successful and everyone will love this! It's rustic which means it will be forgiving when you go to put the crust together because it doesn't have to look fancy or schmancy! It's just the perfect combination of crispy, sugary, flaky crust with sweet, delicious filling.  Can you use storebought pie crust? Yes. But don't tell me. That will make me sad. It won't turn out as flakey and it will definitely not look rustic.
By the way, I really encourage you to do all your baking by weight. Just get a decent scale, set your bowl on it, zero it out every time you add something. It makes a big difference and you'll have way better results and consistency each time.

6 1/2 ounces flour (6 1/4 cup)
3 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp k…

Let us Find Our Rest in Thee

I don’t think there’s any occasion like Christmas that swirls with as much hope and expectation...and there’s definitely no time as magical as Christmas morning for a child. As a child you go to bed and the tree is lit with a few presents tucked around the skirt and stockings hung limply by the fire then when you wake up the tree is mystically brighter, the gifts have miraculously multiplied, the stockings are more stuffed than a turkey, and even in warm California, there's an excitement makes the air feel crisp and fresh with expectation.

Expectation is why we love that movie, “A Christmas Story” with Ralphie hoping and wishing and plotting and dreaming for his Red Rider BB Gun only to have his hopes dashed in the form of ridiculous pink bunny pajamas. We’re hoping with him, laughing at him, and remembering what it’s like to want something so badly. Of course, Ralphie does get that gun and of course, he almost shoots his eye out...but it’s the longing and expectations that makes…

Easy Dover Sole with Pappardelle Pasta

This is definitely in our top ten for quick and easy dinners:

You'll need:
Pack of Trader Joe's Lemon Pappardelle Pasta (so yummy!) I do have a great recipe for my own pappardelle, but that wouldn't make this recipe quick or as easy!

Dover Sole filets - They're really thin, so get at least 2 per adult. Trader Joe's sells them frozen and they're really good.

1/2 cup AP flour
1 tsp lemon/pepper seasoning. I use Trader Joe's (of course)
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese (not the cheap crap. I shouldn't have to say that, but I better)
1/2 cup lemon juice divided
1 lemon sliced
2 T white wine (optional)

In a skillet (large enough to hold several filets without being crowded, crush capers a bit, add minced onion and 1 T of the butter until it melts, then saute about a minute. Add 1/4 c lemon juice and wine, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by one-thi…