November 28, 2011


I enter into this time of year with mixed emotions. On one hand I love the decorations and the music and all the pretty things that the Christmas season brings. But, on the other hand I loath the busyness and the rushing. I step into this time of year with hesitancy because I know myself. I know that I'm easily stressed, quickly frustrated and too often just a little Scroogey.

There's really nothing that I can do to slow any of it down. The countless Christmas parties and running errands and Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, it will all happen regardless of my attitude.

This morning I was reading in Ephesians. I was on auto pilot as my mind wandered to lists of things to be done and making other mental list of projects yet to come. I kept catching myself wandering away from the words in front of me and would scold myself for my lack of focus. "I just need a word from you Lord", I pleaded, "please!"

I turned the page in my Bible, already reciting the well known passage in my head as I did so. "...and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind." Ephesians 4:23. The word "renewed" quickly caught my attention and my soul seemed to sink into the hope of it's meaning for me. I so desperately need renewal, and not just for a season, but always, everyday.

I dwelt of this verse today and it's conviction in my life. As my husband reminded me, it is the Holy Spirit in my life that does the renewal in me. I can't just "be less stressed" I have to have the fruit of the Spirit do it's work in me.

I don't want to be scroogey and stressed out! I want to be more like Jesus! The only way I'm going to have more of the character of Jesus in my life is if I spend time with Him. Why do I forget these simple things and allow my life to be dominated by self and all it's ugliness?

Here is to stop trying to do it on my own and seek the Lord to fill me up with His Spirit each day!

November 11, 2011

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup

This evening Ryan and I enjoyed another wonderful gluten free dinner + dessert!

I adapted the following recipe from Emeril Lagasse for a gluten free, dairy free meal and it was so good, the kind of good that you want to lick your bowl clean! Yum!

I've been looking forward to the first butternut squash I would roast this year and I couldn't have picked a better recipe to try it out on.

First I peeled and cubed my butternut squash, drizzled it with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven.

The roasted squash gets pureed and added to the browned smoked sausage and onion.

I also cooked wild rice and added that to the pureed squash, sausage, onion, corn and chicken stock.
The finished product looks much better then this photo.... sorry.

Two bowls later Ryan and I enjoyed this amazing dessert that my friend Fallon posted on her blog. So good! Gluten & dairy free berry crisp!

This is Ryan finishing up his bowl of dessert. p.s. he's really into basketball right now... can you tell?

He is so cute!

So you have to try both of these recipes! They won't let you down. Promise.

Smoked Sausage, Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients (I cut everything in half)

2 medium butternut squash, about 3 to 4 pounds, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

12 cups chicken stock

2 1/2 cups chopped onions

1 cup wild rice

3/4 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch

2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 1/2 cups half-and-half (I substituted canned coconut milk)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool completely. In a blender or food processor, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and 1/2 cup of the chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally with a fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of onions and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 6 cups of stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the half-and-half and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Here is the link to Fallon's berry crisp.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

November 8, 2011

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Okay so here's the deal, this is nothing special at all. But it it easy and it tastes good and it is gluten free and the husband said " those are stinkin' good" so I think it's a keeper.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds - gluten free
1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
2. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in a shallow baking dish.
3. Bake for 1 hour, siring occasionally.

When I do this again, I think that I will add a little onion powder and a little less salt and instead add a little seasoning salt instead.... think chex mix... my all time favorite holiday snack! Can't wait!

good times

Last night I spent the evening with these two lovely ladies. They are two of my cousins, Katy & Kristi. I love them both dearly and every time we get together it's just non stop laughing! We laughed, drank tea, laughed some more and had the most delightful time together.

I am so blessed by these women. It's hard to pull myself away from them on these nights we spend together. Looking forward to next time girls!