Friday, March 27, 2015

Faith-filled Fridays: Some more love

Hello Crushers!

I knew it would happen. I knew that as the parent of a baby (nearly toddler - when did that happen?!) I would commit several songs, nursery rhymes, and even books to memory. I had no idea that between Steve and I we can sing songs for nearly an hour while stuck in traffic with a baby that wants to be anywhere other than in traffic. We hear ya, kiddo. We really do.

Turns out that as long as you know the sounds to several animals (farm and jungle) and machines (tractors and such), or how to spell five letter words (B-I-N-G-O), you can make up lots of songs. So what if Old MacDonald had a tiger on his farm? I could happen. Perhaps he has a wildlife sanctuary?

I digress...

Today I have a song stuck in my head that anyone who has ever been to Sunday School probably knows - "Love One Another". It's cute. It's catchy. And it's an excellent reminder to love those around us.
"This is my commandment that you love one another, that your joy may be full!"
My aunt, who is married to my pastor uncle, likes to remind us, "Jesus loves them, too!" when you tell her about someone who has been rude or nasty. Some times it's said with a little more of a laugh than others depending on the situation.

How can you be joyful without love?

Perhaps you have a tough situation. My dad is trying to do the best he can to care for his dad, my grandpa, with Alzheimer's disease. This is proving to be very difficult because he is the target of all of my grandpa's anger, sadness, and hatred over this awful disease. It has made him say some very unkind words to all of us. It can be hard to love someone when they are at a low point, facing a loss, or just have had enough.

At some point you will meet someone who is difficult to love. Not everyone does things that deserve your love. However, everyone deserves, and has, Jesus' love whether or not they want it.

Please do not turn away from people who need your love. Using discernment, show love as best you can to others just as Jesus would. 
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. - John 15:12
I'm off now to enjoy a weekend filled with some wonderful women that I am blessed to call friends. We'll be sharing food, wine, shopping time, and devotion time. Some good, old sisterly love!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rancher Coleslaw

Hello Crushers!

As promised here is the coleslaw recipe I made this last weekend for St. Patrick's Day party. What? It has cabbage in it... The party was not exactly Irish-y, and it was too warm out for boiled corned beef and cabbage. Plus, have you smelled a kitchen after cabbage is boiled? Ew.

This is a SERIOUSLY easy recipe that makes A LOT of coleslaw, so only make it if you either really have a strong desire to eat coleslaw or you need to feed a crowd.

Almost forgot to mention that I got to take a cooking class at a Sur La Table (sounds like sir la taab) store in January. With a real chef. And everything! It was a Christmas gift from Steve, and it was awesome! While I was there, I definitely got a tiny crush on all the people who get to work among fabulous cooking gadgets and assisting chefs all the time. Although they had some job openings, I knew that I could not work there or I'd go broke buying fabulous kitchen gear. Instead, I only bought one tiny thing: a kitchen scraper/dough cutter. I feel like Rachel Ray every time I use it. Sigh...

So excited for class! 
Anyway, the kitchen scraper comes in handy to pick up all the stuff you're going to chop for this recipe. And the best part is that they're inexpensive.

Bench scraper in action!
Rancher Coleslaw
1/2 cup mayo (use the real stuff - trust me)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Rancher Steak Rub from Wildtree
1 Tbsp brown mustard
4-5 cups shredded cabbage (about one medium head of cabbage)
2 medium carrots, shredded
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
1/2 green pepper, finely sliced

Directions: In a LARGE bowl (preferably one with a lid), mix the first 5 ingredients until smooth. This is your dressing. Using a sharp knife, chop the cabbage in small, bite-size slices or shred with a food processor or grater. Please watch your fingers while you slice this and any other round veggie.
Tip: I may have mentioned this before, but to save your fingers from being cut, always cut a veggie or fruit in half or at least give it a flat edge to stabilize it as you cut. Then hold the food item with a claw like hand so your finger tips are out of the way. 
It actually looks like I'm about to slice the top off of my middle finger, but my claw-like grip keeps it out of harms way. That's the best shot I have. Sorry. 
Once you have all your veggies sliced or grated, add them to the bowl and toss with the dressing. It may not look like you have enough dressing, but it really is! Stir before serving, and enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Virtual Running Date No. 51: 6 miles, hummus, and coleslaw

Hello Crushers!

If we were on a running date, I would have a lot to tell you. First, I'm signed up for another half marathon. This time I'll be running through the gorgeous Peninsula State Park in Door County. This will be the longest race that I've run since Ellie was born. I did a training run on Saturday for 6.29 miles! WHOO!

If we were on a running date, I would confess how hard it has been to get back into running. Since Ellie has a spring birthday, I got to take her on lots of walks and we took her hiking all over Wisconsin and even took a trip to Denver to visit friends (Hi Susan and family!). There were lots of people that saw us hiking through the mountains, and stopped us to say, "You have a baby. On the trail. In the mountains." Yes, yes we do have a baby. She hikes. She's awesome.

But you know what? It's not awesome when you're struggling with this weird guilt that you want to go and do something by yourself (run) and you miss your running partner (Steve) because you now have to share. You have to split your running time so that one person runs while the other person watches the baby. As much as she loves the running stroller, she probably wouldn't sit in it for anything more than 4 miles. Plus, there's this jealousy that Steve got to go running while I couldn't. And even now when she doesn't sleep through the night, I'm just tired even though I know I need to keep running for my health and sanity. It's rough. Mommies need to stop judging each other. We judge ourselves plenty!

If we were on a running date, I would catch you up on a few things in our family. One of Steve's sisters and my sister had a baby in 2014, too! That's right, there are lots of tiny girls in our family! So many little ones to bring us joy, and wow they are good at it! Sadly, we had to say good bye to my maternal grandfather (pictured here) in January. He got the flu, pneumonia, COPD, and had other health issues related to those things. He was doing alright until something took a quick turn for the worse. Grandma missed him and God called him home to Heaven. As much as I miss him, my friend, and I miss him A LOT, he is in a better place. The best place. My paternal grandfather is starting to slip away from us with Alzheimer's disease. He is angry a lot of the time and taking out his struggles on my dad. Please send up a prayer if you have a moment. Both for the arrival of healthy babies (another of Steve's sisters is due with her 2nd baby in October!), and for those who are/were caregivers. 

If we were on a running date, I would tell you that we had a delicious weekend (this is a food-based blog, right?) with homemade coleslaw, a new recipe for a torte I'll try out in the next few weeks, and lemon garlic hummus. Not to toot my own horn, but I came up with the lemon garlic hummus and submitted the recipe to Wildtree and they made it and took a picture (that credit goes to Wildtree) and posted it on Instagram and it was amazing! Not amazing - my run-on sentence. Whatever. I FINALLY HAVE A PUBLISHED (sort of) RECIPE! WHEE!


If we were on a running date, I would also tell you that the next few weeks are going to be fun because a) Girl's Weekend, b) Easter, and c) Ellie's 1st birthday. And I am good at themes and Pinterest recreations. How cute are these? Some bunny is going to be turning one... he he he... So many silly things I can do with that! Since her birthday happens to be after Easter this year, I am planning on getting deals on decorations and stuff. Or raiding a dollar store... Whatever.

If we were on a running date, I'd also tell you that class is going well. Most of my students are awesome and the rest are still nice. I also started a new job as a content writer for some manufacturing companies' websites. It won't be nearly as fun as this, but a nice challenge.

Coleslaw recipe coming soon...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Faith-filled Friday: Love

Hello Crushers,

I don't know how many of you follow along with a devotion book or have one e-mailed to you, but Steve and I have a few devotion books at our house that we bought and received as gifts. On top of that, a small group of friends and I have a Facebook group where we comment on an e-mail devotion that we all subscribe to - Proverbs 31 Ministries. When looking for a passage for today's post, I looked in "The One Year Uncommon Life: Daily Challenge" written by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker.

If you don't know him, Tony Dungy is a retired championship winning NFL coach, a football analyst, author, husband, father, etc. He's an all-around great guy and one that is not afraid to show his faith. I bought this book for Steve for our first Christmas thinking that he'd especially love the football connection, and now it's one of my favorite devotion books. We don't read one every day, and since there are 365 devotions, even if we read this every year, we'd still be OK!

Anyway, I looked up the passage for today, and it was 1 Corinthians 16:13:
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
Um, how perfect is that verse to connect March Madness to our faith?! Stand firm! Be courageous! Go! Fight! Win! Works, right?

And then I looked up the next verse:
Do everything in love.
I don't think that being on guard, standing firm, being courageous or strong could happen without knowing how much God loves me, my family, and my friends. My actions and words certainly wouldn't be much without loving motivation.

The friends I mentioned earlier are getting together in a little over a week for our 10th anniversary girls weekend. Each of us has had some big changes this year having babies, having miscarriages, new jobs, old jobs, husbands facing new jobs, saying good bye to loved ones, and everything in between. It's been a roller coaster to say the least. Fortunately, we all can reach out to each other in love, surround each other with love, and remind each other of God's love and loving plan for our lives.

Next weekend when we all get together, one friend suggested that we each bring a Bible passage to share. Normally, I'd bring up my confirmation verse (you'll be singing it on Easter - "I know that my Redeemer lives!"), but I think I might bring these verses from 1 Corinthians. I should carry them around with me every day. Won't you?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'm baaaaack!

Hello Crushers!

Wow, that was a long hiatus. I'm ready to be back and post more fun recipes as me and as A WILDTREE REP (yup, I took the plunge). Other features like "virtual running dates" and "Faith-filled Fridays" are coming back, too. You know, starting tomorrow.

See you all soon!