Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween: Barmbrack Bread

Happy Halloween, Crushers!

Our office has a Halloween challenge where groups of employees are allowed to take some time to decorate the area by their cubicles and then we all "trick or treat" visiting each other's cubicles or set ups. It's really fun and makes the afternoon go by quickly. Everyone has a sugar crash by the end of the day! This was a huge team effort, so thanks to all my co-workers for doing an amazing job!

Photo: Sarah Smith
Since my client is an international one, we decided to see how people celebrate Halloween or other ghoulish holidays around the world. We picked Ireland, where the Celts are supposedly the first to celebrate. The rituals and celebrations focused on Samhain, a festival celebrated over night of October 31 around harvest time seem to have evolved into Halloween. Beltane bonfires were lit, turnips were carved (eventually turning into jack-o-lanterns as we know them), and Barmbrack Bread was eaten.

Photo: Sarah Smith

Photo: Sarah Smith

In Mexico and many other countries, celebrate Dia de Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Again, this is a day to gather with family and friends to pray for and remember relatives who have died. Skeletons and marigolds are familiar things to see around homes, cemeteries and altars. Lots of meals are shared and one special item, pan de muerto (bread of the dead), is shared by family and friends near the gravesides of the deceased.
Photo: Sarah Smith

Photo: Sarah Smith

Photo: Sarah Smith
In China around August, a festival called Yu Lan, or the Ghost Festival, is when the deceased is said to come visit the living. People will provide food to hungry ghost visitors and even set empty places at the table for the ghosts. There is lots of food!

Photo: Sarah Smith

Photo: Sarah Smith

Photo: Sarah Smith

I was in charge of bringing pumpkins for the Ireland set up and making barmbrack. Here is the recipe that I used (it's made in two stages and traditionally has trinkets baked inside, but I skipped the trinkets):

Barmbrack Bread

First stage
Mix together:

1 cup of sultanas

1 cup of raisins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup cold tea
Cover these ingredients and leave to soak overnight (or in my case, a few hours).
Stage Two
Prepare these ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 level teaspoon of baking powder

1 egg beaten

1 teaspoon mixed spice
1. Add the four, baking powder and spice to soaked fruit mixture.
2. Mix in the beaten egg.
3. Spoon into a well greased loaf tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit). If you're making it in cupcake form like I did for work, bake it at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.
4. When cool brush the top with warmed honey for a glazed surface.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Virtual Running Date No. 30: Fall 50 recap

Hello Crushers!

Sorry for this delayed message, but life has been a little hectic. When isn't it though, right? Knock on wood, we are set to close on our house at the end of November and then move into our new house in December. I know that's not ideal, believe me, but we won't be homeless for a month or anything. We'll just be living with family. If you all feel like saying a prayer that all goes well, I'd appreciate it.

In between calling Realtors, house inspectors, banks, and such, for the first time we participated in a little 50-mile relay race last weekend called The Fall 50. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

The motto of the race is "Go up to Gills Rock. Turn around and face south. Don't stop running until someone hands you a beer." That summed it up nicely! Before the race, the director said he always reads an inspirational quote or passage. This year he chose to read a quote from Calvin and Hobbes, the classic comic strip by Bill Watterson.

You've done all you can do. You've prepared as much as you can. Some days, even your favorite pair of underpants just won't help. I laughed when he read this because a) it's true and b) I was wearing my lucky race socks. Oh Calvin...

The race started at Gills Rock, which is nearly the tip of the peninsula of Door County, Wisconsin. Then you and your team (although there were over 170 solo ultramarathon runners) take turns running different segments to add up to 50 miles ending in Sturgeon Bay. I ran the first and sixth legs. Thankfully I didn't have any major hills. I was running pretty slowly, but this was the first time I was ever going to run a double (twice in one day). Although it was less than a half marathon (8 miles total compared to 13), I wasn't going to take any chances on getting overtired, overheated, or exhausted.

Steve had one major hill and some little ones, but he powered through like a champ! We were very lucky that the wind changed overnight. Friday, as we were driving up with running church friend, Kristi, the wind was so loud and so forceful, it was knocking branches down! Not cool, wind. Not cool. When we woke up, the wind had died down a bit, but the best news was that it was now going to be at our backs the whole time! We just had to dodge some downed branches, but otherwise, everything went very well. We left Gills Rock at 8 a.m. and finished at 4:07 p.m. GO TEAM!

Hopefully, I will get a picture of the van from someone soon. We decorated it with our team name, Dr. K and the IT Band, and wrote each leg on the back of the van so we could cross them off as we finished them! In the meantime, please enjoy a few of these.
The whole team at the start line: Paul, Debbie, Steve, me and Kristi. It was about 45 degrees.
Selfie at the start line

Steve is ready to run! Too bad he had to wait until leg 5 to start!

Ready to go at the start line! You can see the timing chip on my left wrist.
Yes, it's on a SLAP BRACELET! Fun!

Beautiful Lake Michigan in the bay.

The hill.

The sun came out!

It's hard to see, but that sign says "Good Thoughts".

Crazy wind (and hair) at the finish line. We made it!
At the end of the race, we all went into the after-race party for as much pizza, beer and soda as we could consume. By then, I'm not ashamed to admit, that I ate two plate-fulls of pizza. And I enjoyed every bite.

Fun food fact, in the Zagat article "50 pizzas in 50 states", the pizza at Door County's Wild Tomato restaurant was featured. Yum!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Faith-filled Friday: Another hour

Good morning, Crushers!

When I've got more on my plate than I thought I could handle, I have been known to say, "If I could just have another hour in the day..." to get things done, to read, to clean, to cook, to relax, to whatever. It would be nice. But then I know I would just fill that other hour with crap and still be stressed out. It's just a fact.

Last night, the house hunt continued, but we found one promising home, so I set out to do some research on the neighborhood from schools to crime reports. Then we got some other facts in about the house that were kind of distressing, but not bad enough that I wouldn't move right in and cook you all dinner. The distressing part was that we got the news right before going to bed. Nothing like a factoid to keep your brain running, right?

That's when Steve said, "Well, let's pray." We pray every night before we go to bed. For us, it's not only a time to continue the tradition of praying before bedtime as we did when we were little children. Instead of just reciting "Now I lay me down to sleep", it's more of a conversation with God. Steve knew just then that we didn't need to keep repeating all of the stuff we learned. We need a 1 Peter 5:7 moment:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Yeah, it's really that easy. And difficult. And blessedly simple. Sometimes all you need to do is give it to God and let go. The letting go is the hard part. However, I can tell you from personal experience that letting go and giving your problem to someone that you know will take care of it is really a great feeling. You can take a load off and know that it's covered. If you've got something you're hanging on to, I suggest you take a hop over to 1 Peter 5 and let go. You'll be glad you did!

 Speaking of counting on others, it is a race weekend! It's not just a regular 5K race weekend. This is the Fall 50, a 50-mile relay race that I'm participating in with a team of 5. Thankfully, I have a great team that is willing to give me some of the shorter legs. And not just because I'm short! Ha ha... OK, bad joke. Anyway, we'll be spending time in Door County, WI doing the "Most scenic race in the Midwest!" How cool is that?

Pictures on Monday!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Good morning, Crushers!

I have to admit that I haven't made anything creative this week. Our house is slowly coming apart. I had to stop pulling things off the walls the other night because it was making me sad, and I ran out of boxes. We've been having comfort food as the weather gets colder and the house gets more packed away. I've packed lots of my kitchen stuff already, so I'm down to one frying pan, a sauce pan and a stock pot. Everything else is getting packed up!

Here's what we've eaten this week:
I really don't want to move food when we move, so I thought that we should just put stuff in tortillas and toss cheese on top of it. My favorite? Chicken, onion and slices of green apple with Colby Jack Cheese. So good!

I dare you to try and make some of your own. It's really quite wonderful. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Virtual Running Date No. 29: Babies and Houses and Recipes, Oh My!

Good morning, Crushers!

I am tired this morning. And I have to confess, that instead of having a virtual running date this weekend, I would have invited you for a nice walk and a cup of hot chocolate or coffee or something. I'm tired. We spent last weekend in a whirlwind of meeting our new baby nephew, Dylan, and then looking for a new house. We saw 10 houses, and I only kind of clearly remember 3 of them. And even then, I think I'm a little mixed up.

If we were on a coffee walk, I would tell you that new babies are wonderful and they smell good and they only have the tiniest cry. I know that that cry will eventually turn into something much louder, but for now, it's tiny. Just like Dylan. What a sweetheart! His big brother, Patrick, is also very much in love with him. We knew he would like Dylan, but we didn't know if he would like him right away or not. Now we know!

If we were on a coffee walk, I would tell you about how all of the houses we saw were special in their own way, but some were special in a negative way. There was one house that gave me the heebie-jeebies. I felt like I had walked into Little Red Riding Hood's cabin and I was waiting for a big bad wolf to come attack. Not cool. I got lost in the basement of one of them. It was deceptively big.

If we were on a coffee walk, I would tell you about how my friend, Erie, keeps sending me wonderful recipes that I keep forgetting to try. Because of that, I'm going to share them here with you:

Mango Beef Stir Fry from Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Bloomer Bread from Paul Hollywood (Erie's baking crush)

Baked Oatmeal in a Mug from Food and Whine

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breasts (or thighs) with Herbed Goat Cheese (you could just use Boursin cheese to save yourself some steps)

I'm going to go follow my nose to some coffee now. If I can get up from my computer, that is. So tired...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Faith-filled Friday: Soup review and more

Good morning, Crushers!

What a week? I'm so glad I spent most of Tuesday night making soup and food ahead for the rest of the week. It's been crazy around here in, mostly, good ways.

Have you ever, as an adult, had one of those days where you're all, "I don't want to be a grown up any more!" That was my day yesterday. If you've been a reader since March, you know that we're trying to sell our house. It's been a bit of a bumpy process. Yesterday, we got some information on our house that is basically telling us that we're going to need a new roof.

You know what? I don't want to have to buy a new roof. I don't want to have to be all responsible and junk. I just want a bowl of soup, some comfy clothes and a good episode of Grey's Anatomy. Yes, I know that Grey's isn't a child-friendly show, but all of my Disney movies are packed. When I was thinking of today's posting, I thought of 1 Corinthians 13:11:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
I have definitely grown up. I have a career, a house, a husband, and a really cool new frying pan from William-Sonoma. I'm all responsible and stuff. I called a contractor for an estimate on our roof. I put on my big girl pants and moved on.

Gorgeous new Calphalon 12-inch fry pan to replace the one that got all scratched up.
However, I'd like to point out that thinking like a child isn't always a bad thing. Matthew 19:14 says:
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
A child-like faith isn't just something to hope for, it should be something you actively seek. Kids are so trusting that it makes you want to be the kind of person that they think you are. Jesus is that person. We can have faith in him because he is exactly what we expect of him and so much more. We too can be "heirs of eternal life" and have the kingdom of Heaven belong to us!

In between calling a contractor and wanting to hide in my couch-cushion fort, there is a happy medium. I can do both. I can watch my show and eat soup. You can too!

Speaking of soup, here is the 4th place winner dish from our office cooking contest! I think that if it had been vegetarian, I would have gotten more votes. If you want, you can omit the sausage and you'd be fine serving it to vegetarians. I know because I asked. I got this recipe from, but I used Italian sausage instead of bratwurst. I also used 9 oz of spinach instead of 6 oz because I love spinach! The recipe below is how I made it, not how it is on the website.

Sausage and Butternut Squash Stew
  • 1 (1-pound) butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound of uncased Italian Sausage (about 3-4 sausages)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 ounces red potatoes, large dice
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 3 cups water
  • 9 ounces baby spinach
Gear you'll need : 1 big soup pot, a good knife for slicing veggies, a strong veggie peeler (I have an OXO one that I love), a cutting board, a paper-towel-lined plate, measuring cups and spoons and one big spoon for stirring.

Get the squash ready: Peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. Trim the top and bottom. Cut the neck from the bulb of the squash. Halve each piece lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and set aside. This is the best way I've found to cut a butternut squash. They even did a video feature on CNN about it!

Love that color. I should paint a room that color...
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned all over, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. This lets all the grease drip off. I hate when you pull soup out of the fridge and there is grease globs floating on the top. Gross. 

Sausage sizzling away
Return the pan to medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. I'd go heavier on the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the caraway and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, their juices, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the sausage back to the pan along with the spinach. Cook until the sausage is heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. 
So good, bright and colorful!
Serve up with a big hunk of bread and enjoy! So good! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

World Food Day 2013: Help end hunger!

I have recently heard myself complain that I need a freezer to help store all this food that I'm prepping for the coming weeks' meals. While I don't think there is anything wrong with being able to enjoy food and drink responsibly, it also reminds me that those who have the ability to help, should.

October 16 is World Food Day 2013! Please consider helping those who have trouble providing food for themselves and their families. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Donate food or dollars to your local food pantry.
2. Help serve a meal at a homeless shelter, women's shelter, Ronald McDonald House, or other charity.
3. Make a meal for a family member or neighbor to show you care.
4. Grow a garden (or plan one, since it's fall) and share the bounty with others.
5. Take a good hard look at how much food you waste. I'm not saying that you should stuff yourself just so that you don't throw things away from your plate, but instead, look at what foods are wasting away in your fridge or pantry.
6. Share the news with others:
Together we can help fight hunger in our neighborhoods and around the world!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Virtual Running Date No. 28: More Fall Soups!

Good morning, Crushers!

October is here in full force with wind and rain mixed with sun and falling leaves. It's gorgeous! If we were on a running date, I'd be talking all about fall. Fall is soup time for me. If you hadn't noticed from the other soup recipes that I posted from Susan, I'm going to give you another today.

If we were running today, I'd tell you about how excited I am that we are expecting a new nephew today! I cannot wait to meet the little man and shower him with kisses and snuggles. Fortunately, that's just what we get to do this coming weekend! So excited!

If we were running today, I'd tell you how Steve and I went running this past weekend and then got caught in a heavy downpour. Rain is good for the ground and all, but blinding when you're running without a hat, right? After that, we went to see the homecoming football game for the high school where Steve teaches. And it rained some more. With lightning! Being the dedicated fans we are, we huddled together under an umbrella and stuck it out until they cleared the kids to come back out on the field to keep playing.
Empty the field! (note how we're winning)

Rain, rain go away! The stands are soaked and kids want to play!

 If we were running today, I'd tell you how proud I am of my friends Margaret and Kristen who did the Chicago Marathon yesterday. All I could think of was that moment at the beginning of my last half marathon where we all took a few seconds to remember what happened in Boston. Those few moments of silence are enough to make you tear up.

If we were running today, I'd tell you about the wonderful spaghetti squash that I roasted last night while I was baking bread (which turned out so well). It's ready for some spicy African sausage that we found at the farmers' market last week. The sausage is called boerewors, which is a South African sausage based on a Dutch recipe. It's very lean and flavorful. I'm excited to try it with some squash and marinara sauce. We might also throw it in some jambalaya. Yum! So hungry now!
I had two different sized loaf pans. Can you tell?

If we were running today, I'd just keep up the recipe sharing and let you know about this bratwurst and butternut squash stew recipe I just found on I think I'll use it for my office's annual fall food challenge. It seems nice and hearty, and I could use a turkey sausage to make it healthier. Otherwise, it's all veggies! Maybe I'll replace some of the potatoes with carrots. What do you think?

Bratwurst and Butternut Squash Stew

  • 1 (1-pound) butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh Bratwurst Sausage (about 3 sausages - I'll probably use turkey sausage)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces red potatoes, large dice (maybe use some carrots or yams instead?)
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
Doesn't that sound delicious?!
Have a wonderful day, Crushers!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Faith-filled Friday: Car Conversations

Good morning, Crushers!

As you know, last weekend we had our friend Kalie visit us from Texas. You know how they say everything is bigger in Texas? I think that her ability to talk to people about her faith follows that saying. This girl is not afraid to share her love of Jesus with anyone. She also tells me about all of the times when something happens and she has to get in her car and then drive somewhere.
"Jen, you have no idea how many times I get in the car and ask God what he wants me to do?"

Texas Necklace
I laughed and said that she should write a book about all of her car conversations. Then I started realizing all of the time that I have chats with God in the car when I'm by myself. Lots of times in the past, I know I have asked God where something is going. Sometimes I pray that I don't get rear-ended. Sometimes I ask God to keep me safe on a journey. Sometimes I just rant and rave when I've had a rough day. Sometimes I just sing along really loudly with the radio when it's playing some awesome song on K-LOVE. Car conversations with God can be really amazing.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
God knows where we're going. He has a plan. Sometimes it's just really hard to see it. This week has been no exception! We've got what feels like 10 balls in the air that we're trying to keep going. Hopefully, we'll be able to set a few aside, but until then, I'm asking God for some good balance and hand-eye coordination!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Roasted Chicken with lemon and rosemary

Hello Crushers!

As promised, here is my attempt at Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken. I followed the recipe from Kitchen Crush Ree Drummond (also known as the Pioneer Woman) almost exactly. I encourage you to go check out her recipe in case you'd like to try that and also because she has way better pictures.

Here is what I did:
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary
Based on the recipe by Ree Drummond
  • 1 whole Chicken, Patted Dry
  • 3/4 -ish cups Butter, Softened
  • 2 whole Lemons
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh from the garden Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried Thyme
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
Gear you'll need:
  • Large bowl, spoon, measuring cups, zester/fine grater, baking sheet with sides, heavy duty aluminum foil
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. This is super helpful in the clean up! Open up that chicken package and take the baggie of guts out. Unless you're planning on making a chicken liver pate, just chuck it. I'm not into organ meats, but if you are, that's nice. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and then chuck those too. No one wants salmonella poisoning. This is the reason that you DO NOT rinse your chicken. Just pat it dry and lay it on the foil. Let it air out a bit.
Zest away, Crushers!

In the mean time, let's get to the buttery goodness. If your butter isn't softened enough, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. I mean that. Do not put it in for over 12 seconds at a time or you just melted your butter. Once you have soft butter, zest two lemons over the butter bowl. This will smell so good. Then add the diced rosemary and thyme. As Ree Drummond says, you can mix and match your herbs and citrus, so don't be afraid to try new things!

Buttery lemon goodness!
Once you have all the herb butter mixed up, slather it all over the chicken and make sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies. Yes, even inside the bird. Don't be shy! Just stick your hand in the cavity. You can do it! If it helps, you can pretend that you're putting sun screen on the chicken, so you know you've got to cover everything or the poor thing will burn. Once you've buttered it up, sprinkle lemon juice over the chicken and then cram as many lemon halves inside the chicken. Ree's recipe called for three lemons, but I could only fit two inside, so I'm suggesting that you just buy two.
Buttered up and in the oven!
Note: when you sprinkle the lemon juice on it, some of the butter may slide around.

Wash your hands thoroughly and then pop the chicken in the oven for at least an hour and 25 minutes. It might take longer. When it's all done, the insides won't be pink and all the juices will run clear. 

Serve it up with some of your favorite sides (butternut squash gnocchi, beets and green beans all from the garden!), and enjoy!
Sorry for the messy plate, but I was starving!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Virtual Running Date No. 27: Fall running

Hey Crushers,

I'm happy to report that I did not fall while running. However, if this were a virtual running date, I would be happy to run with you through all the gorgeous fall leaves! Thankfully, the weather let up enough over the weekend for a nice long run on Saturday morning.

Where we run along the parkway was bustling with activity between rain showers. Kids were playing soccer, there was a walk for Alzheimer's awareness, a farmers' market, people eating brunch, runners, bikers, and walkers (both two- and four-legged). Steve and dodged the leashes, strollers and leaf piles (they were a little wet, so they were slippery). Nothing like nature turning into an obstacle course!

If this were a running date, I would tell you about the amazing frozen yogurt that we had over the weekend. Imagine this: apple pie flavored fro-yo, topped with chopped nuts, granola and a little (yeah, yeah, a lot) of caramel sauce. Yum! I encourage you to indulge a bit in all things apple this weekend! Sunday night, I had a friend invite me over to have some coffee and apple crisp. Of course I was going to go! Who turns down a good apple crisp in October? No one.

If this were a running date, I would confess that I'm really looking forward to fall break. I'm teaching a college course on top of every thing else, so one day off of teaching sounds like a blessing right now. I can use that time to write the next exam and prepare for the rest of the semester instead of doing it so last minute. How about you? Aren't you looking forward to a bit of a slow down before November and December?

If this were a running date, I would also tell you that I'm so excited to be an auntie again! My brother and sister-in-law are expecting Baby #2 any day now (most likely a week from today). How fun! More baby snuggles!

One more thing: the roasted chicken I talked about in this post? Yeah, it was delicious! Look for it in an up coming post!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to be outside for a bit!

Faith-filled Friday: Just a little late...

Good morning, Crushers!

Sorry that I didn't get this posted earlier, but I had a very busy weekend! I had a house guest staying with me from Wednesday through Sunday. Kalie came up to visit from Texas (along with her mom) to see one of our good friends, Jenny, get married to the man of her dreams. It was a gorgeous service full of family, friends, faith and fall colors.

In honor of Jenny and Matt's wedding, here's another great verse about togetherness:
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. - Ruth 1:16
Kalie pointed out that it's a bit odd that this is actually spoken by a young widow to her mother-in-law, and yet it's used as a reading in so many weddings. Why would you want to focus on a widow on your wedding day? Aren't wives and mothers-in-law supposed to bicker and not get along?

I think what this shows is that Ruth and her late husband must have had a solid, faith-filled marriage in order for Ruth to desire to stay part of the family that embraced her. She could have returned to her own family, which doesn't seem to be a God-fearing group. Ruth 1:15 says that Naomi (the mother-in-law) urged Ruth to return to her family "and her gods". Instead, Ruth decided to turn from those gods to be faithful to God.

Kalie and I had a few long talks this past weekend, and most of them ended in amazement at how God has chosen to use our lives in ways that we did not think that they would go. I seriously doubt that Naomi ever imagined that her daughter-in-law would end up being a great-great-great-great...many more greats-grandmother to Jesus! You never know how your life will turn out.

Just as Matt and Jenny promised to be with each other through all the ups and downs of life this past Friday, they were basically saying what Ruth said to Naomi. No matter what God hands us; no matter what we face, I'm yours and I'll be yours.

God bless Matt and Jenny through their marriage!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We're going to need a freezer...

I have no idea what has gotten into me, but I kind of loaded the freezer with three bags of gnocchi, lots of blanched veggies and other assorted items. If I plan to keep going this way and making some soup for lunches or dinners ahead of time, we're going to run out of freezer space soon.

Uh oh.

I'm thinking we're going to need something like this:
I've got big plans for this freezer. Since the most popular post on this blog is about freezer meal prep, it only makes sense to explore this more, right? I've got a few other ideas up my sleeve, too.

In the mean time, please enjoy these soup recipes from loyal reader, Susan. (Hi Susan!) I'll be making these soups in the future, but feel free to use the recipes now!