Monday, July 31, 2017

A S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G Recipe

I have been trying to bring beans back into the recipe picture again.
Since trying to clean up our eating with less packaged foods,
hubby has really started to not mind that meat doesn't always appear at a meal.

Last week, we had a yummy quinoa salad (I leave out onions and add some feta and pepperoni)
 that suited us for 3 days of lunches.
We had a split pea lettuce wraps that fed us for 2 days and had good Asian flavor.

Tonight, we did enjoy meat, but stretched it with beans.
Why not try this simple burrito soon?

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burrito

1 lb ground meat (I used turkey)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
optional - cooked rice (I left this out)
6 TBSP sour cream
6 oz shredded cheese
6 TBSP salsa
6 wraps

I browned the meat and then put it and the beans in my mixer to "squish" the beans.
If you wanted to further S-T-R-E-T-C-H the meal, you could add cooked rice here too.
Then I returned the combo to the browning pan and warmed with the spices.

Prepare each burrito with 1/6 of filling, 1 TBSP of sour cream,
1/4 c of shredded cheese, and 1 TBSP of salsa.

These were a pleasant summer meal with minimal heat to the house
and they were not overly hot because they were not baked.
I also liked that they were not super SLOPPY.

I am looking for "cool" meals since we are trying not to use our a/c much until it is replaced.
The drip pan gave way last week and our a/c man is back logged right now.
Using the a/c involves a lot of towels in and around the coils :)
The Lord has given a break in the oppressive heat and some days of overcast.
Actually made it through today with no a/c!

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Recipe That Bears Repeating

Back in 2011 - July to be exact,
I posted a great Watermelon Cooler recipe.

It is on the menu for a treat tonight.
We are definitely in the "dog days" of summer,
but today, neither of us could lounge around in the shade like that summer dog,
so we will enjoy a treat tonight.

Watermelon Coolers

2 1/4 c frozen watermelon cubes
1/4-1/2 c water
2 T honey
2-3 T lime/lemon juice

Blend in blender and serve immediately.
Makes 2 juice glass size portions!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for coupons.
Coupons that allow us special treats.
Coupons that allow us to try new things.

So this morning I am thankful for a coupon to one of our favorite restaurants.
BOGO on a meal at CHIPOTLE!
Two cell numbers mean two coupons!


Not only that,
but I am thankful that they gave me a link to share with you.

Check it out:

Have you been to Chipotle?

If not ... let me prepare you.

You only have about 5 choices to make ...

Choice one: Type of meal
crunchy taco
rice bowl

Second Choice: Rice
Brown Rice 
White Rice

Third Choice: Protein
tofu (that's not a choice to me)

Fourth: Salsa
Mild salsa
medium salsa
hot salsa
corn salsa

Fifth: MORE
sour cream

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Just Painting in the Rain!

OK, so that is not typically the plan,
but I did get caught in a rain storm as I worked today.

I repainted the house in June,
and this week, I am working on repainting the trim
and wiping down the gutters as I go.

It has been hot, very hot,
but I thought I was clear of rain.

Guess I have another 1/4 of the house to finish tomorrow.

Happy Birthday!

Today, I wish my hubby a Happy 38th!
He is such a treasure to me!

See the birthday cards mingled among the sympathy cards.
Both a reminder that life is precious and that we have no guarantee of life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Piano Arrangement ...

... that you cannot hear.

Back in April,
I worked to paint the last main area at our church.
The fellowship hall was in need of a fixing up.

The painting was done,
and the junk had to be cleaned out.
One such item was an old player piano ...
it didn't work and it was not able to be tuned.

As it was taken apart,
one of my piano students had an idea.
An idea to make an arrangement from the piano strings.

The notes sit atop the strings
and the curls are where the strings wrapped around the pegs.

It was delivered for my birthday.
I thought it went well with my decor.
It is the "piano arrangement" that you cannot hear.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Pizza

In the heat of the summer,
I have to revamp the eating schedule.
Hubby comes home hot and has much less of an appetite.
He wants something lighter.

So I have been searching.

We tried a new pizza recipe on Saturday,
and it was a hit.
Not only did we both like it,
but it is meatless so it is a money saver.
Wins all around!

I began with my flatbread recipe for the crust,
but you can use whatever you like best.
I made 7 flatbread rounds and the topping amounts worked perfectly.

Santa Fe Summer BBQ Pizza


1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn kernels (I used canned)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I omitted because it is not one of hubby's favorite herbs)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Spread BBQ sauce evenly on top of crust, then add black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
Let cool five minutes then slice.
Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top before serving. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

His Way is Perfect

Tuesday Transformation:
a change in perspective,
because God's way is perfect.

When hubby suggested the "staycation" in the month of July,
my heart sank.
Hot, miserable hot ...
no long walks, sitting inside ...

But God knew what we needed.
He provided our cool, shady front yard and morning breezes.
It was not an unbearble heat,
so we did get to walk and run together at least twice.
He knew we needed a refreshing,
because He knows all.

He knew that at the end of the break we would face hard news.
He knew that that news would be easier to deal with when we were rested.
In His perfect timing, He has provided in clear ways and met needs.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Glen

This "Thankful Thursday,"  I am thankful for the lot that we rent.
We are spending much of our STAYCATION in the front yard under the trees.

The trees provide a shade that keeps the area far cooler than the rest of the area
and a pleasant breeze often flows right through.

We have moved our deck furniture into our "secluded glen"
and we do our Bible reading,
write and study,
share meals,
and enjoy the sunset.

We love our home,
but we are also blessed with a pleasant lot ...
a place to enjoy God's creation.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Writing with Hubby

Yes, it has been 3 months since the last post.
3 months where I just needed to step back.
An extra hour of sleep each morning.
A change in workout plans.
Increased stress at hubby's work and other responsibilities that sapped of energy and creativity.

And so,  I had to step away from writing for a bit.

But this week ...
we are on STAYCATION.

We began yesterday,
though it was far from a normal vacation.
We had the church family over for a picnic.
It ended as our picnics typically do ...
a mad dash to "clean up" outside before the storm hit.

BUT ... we made it about 4 hours ...
and the incoming storm brought a pleasant breeze MOST of the time :)

Then last evening, we finished a quick turnover of the prophet's chamber
for some guests coming in on Thursday.

The rest of the week is slow mornings,
long Bible studies,
time to talk, think, and pray together,
and, because it is vacation, one meal free of cooking.
We will even sneak in some home projects (shed repair)
and some work to repair a trellis for an upcoming wedding.

You know that I have long sought to develop a home that we hate to leave,
a home that invites us to enjoy it ...
it is our favorite hotel and our favorite getaway.
The bed is comfy, no forgotten essentials,
no demands on time,
no fear of being "glutened."

I return to the blog on Woman's Work Wednesday.
During my hiatus from writing,
I have been thinking much about "heart."
When hubby preaches,
he always draws out principles,
not just rules and laws (though they have their place),
but heart.  
Why did God give the law?
What is the heart behind it?
Am I seeking to fulfill the heart of the law and not just the letter of the law?

I seek to practice being a "keeper at home."
It seems easy to keep the "letter" of the law.
It is easy to stay home.
It is easy to not work outside of the home.
...but what about the principle, the heart?

Am I a guard of my home?

Am I guarding health?
Am I planning healthful meals or surviving on meals out and convenience food?
Do I provide oppotunities for movement and strength-building?
Do I stress healthy habits and activities? 

Am I guarding entertainment?
Do I provide activites that encourage godly behavior and principles?
Do I default to mindless amusements?

Am I guarding minds?
What am I teaching and sharing in my home?
What do I value and emphasize?  the eternal?  the temporal?
Do I take the "bad guy" stance and take disapproval of others if it means protecting my family?
Are we all learning valuable things together?

Am I guarding temperments?
Do I create peace or drama?
Do I feed anger or diffuse it?

Am I guarding the time of my hubby?
Do I do all I can while at home, so he has more time?
Do I create time for each other?
Do I value the work he does each day and his responsibilities above my own?

It has been a challenge for me and I hope it will be for you today.
Don't seek victory in merely the letter of the law ...
seek to get to the heart of the matter.