Friday, October 30, 2015

Service, Love & a Cold Fighting Soup: Living Like Jesus

Moms don't have time to get sick, and Military Wives whose spouse is deployed or away, dreads the thought of falling ill.

Never in my adulthood had I ever caught the flu....until my hubby was on his last deployment. That's how it goes, right?

Well, I got it, and got it BAD!

Woke up drenched in sweat, chills, fever, the whole nine yards, yet I still needed to care for my kiddos. A mom's job, well, we all know it's never done.

I'm not one to ask for help, or share my burdens on social media, but that day, I wrote a simple message about being ill and needing prayer to get better soon.

An outpouring of love and support ensued. Several ladies brought soup, movies, meals, and crafts to keep my youngest occupied. They watched my youngest, made sure I didn't have to prepare supper for a few days, called to check on me, and even helped pick up my house! Kinda makes me wanna get sick again, ha. :) 

These wonderful women demonstrated love by taking a moment to step away from their life, their obstacles, their problems, and their to-do-lists to help a friend in need. What a blessing they were to our family!

1 Corinthians 13: 7 says, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 
No one lived out this verse better than Jesus. He continuously demonstrates his love for us, but in this particular instance we find Jesus not only living out love, but giving us an insight to how to handle our trials and hurts. In Matthew 14 we find Jesus in mourning after the gruesome death of His cousin and friend, John the Baptist. He takes a moment to be alone and grieve, and then we see Him get up, and go out to serve and meet the needs of others.
When we shift our eyes from our burdens, busy schedules, hurts, and trials to meet the needs or serve someone else, we live out love. We live like the ladies who helped me in my time of need. We live like Jesus, and that's the best way to live.
Think of ways to serve others. Think of ways your family can join in, and though it can be difficult, remember it's okay to be the person who may need help.
And if there's ever a need for a hearty, cold battling soup for family, friends or yourself? I got ya covered! Check out the recipe below, and it's GLUTEN FREE:
Fight a Cold Soup
5-6 cups of Chicken broth (I'm sure veggie broth would be okay too)
2 Whole Carrots
3 Celery Stalks
1 Half of Onion Chopped
2 Tblsps of Minced Garlic
Kale & Baby spinach
1 1/2 tsp of Sea Salt
1 1/2 olive oil
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Chop or dice carrots, celery, and onion. In a pot large enough to hold the soup, heat up olive oil on medium-high heat, and sauté the carrots, celery, and onion. Add in the garlic. Stir constantly. Add in 1/2 of broth, cover pan, set to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth, and sea salt. Bring to a low boil and add the kale and spinach (use as much as you'd like; I do a handful of each).  Let boil for 5-7 minutes, then simmer for 30-40 minutes. Check the tenderness of the veggies and serve when they've reached desired firmness or softness. Feel free to add to or take away. Hot sauce and paprika goes well in this soup too. ENJOY!
Click to Tweet: Service, Love & a Cold Fighting Soup: Living Like Jesus

Click to Tweet: When we shift our eyes from our burdens [...] we live like Jesus, and that's the best way to live.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Pumpkin Flavored What? 5 Ways to Add Pumpkin to Your Family Meals

I've noticed no matter what I'm writing about, my characters end up in the kitchen making something that sounds delicious, and I always end up trying out the recipe, like petit fours (miniature cakes) Whitleigh in The Wounded Warrior's Wife rocks.

Sad to say those sweet treats turned out better in my book than in real life.

Sigh. Frown.

The character in my latest work in progress, Leanna, is a vegetarian. So, well, that's been interesting, but I've surprised myself with how much fun vegetarian recipes can be. Still, I love me some chicken.

In real life, I love food just as much as my characters do, and while they all have their own specialties, my love is pumpkin. Yumness! My characters can fill you in on their concoctions, but let me welcome you to my world of pumpkin foods!

As an often frazzled stay at home mom and Army wife, I had a two strong longings: the desire for fall flavored lattes, and an overwhelming need to sneak vitamins and veggies into my family's food. Pumpkin rose to the challenge, and long before the Pumpkin-Flavored-Craze swept the world, I was adding that orange goodness filled with vitamin A to whatever my taste-buds demanded.

What's worked so far?

Chili:  Trust me, it's great! Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to a pot of chili. No one will know, and the fam gets the added bonus of pumpkin vitamins!

"Fall" Pancakes
Creamy Chicken Soup: Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin to a pot of creamy chicken soup. Now. it turns the soup a light shade of orange. If your fam is any sort of picky like mine, add some cheese, and/or a pinch of hot sauce to disguise. Ugh, how manipulative do I sound right now?

Pancakes: Instead of pumpkin pancakes, I call them "fall" pancakes. Add 1/4 or 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree to your pancake batter. Add 1 tsp of Vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. Delicious!

Oatmeal: Yes, this has to be my favorite way to use pumpkin. I add all ingredients to taste, but to get started, add 1/3 cup of pumpkin to a pot of oatmeal meant for a fam of 4. Add about a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup, 1 tsp of cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin pie spice. I also like to add chopped almonds, chia seeds, raisins, and quinoa. It's a hit!!

Smoothie: So many ways to do this, but one of my favorites...don't judge, just try, is pumpkin, apple, spinach, and ginger with a squeeze of lemon. Add ice, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 honey crisp apple, 1/4 pumpkin, handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 tsp of fresh ground ginger, squeeze of lemon, and blend!  YUM!! Plain greek yogurt, stevia packet, apple, and pumpkin with cinnamon is great blended up too. :)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

No matter how you decide to use pumpkin, you and your family will receive many health benefits! Long live the pumpkin craze!!

Thought up a crazy way to add pumpkin to your food? Let me know about it!

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Click to Tweet: "Two longings: fall flavored lattes & an overwhelming need to sneak vitamins & veggies into my family's food."

Click to Tweet: Pumpkin Flavored What? 5 Ways to Add Pumpkin Into Family Meals.