Monday, September 29, 2014

Greek salad mix

Greek salad mix is actually a Brick House original!  The idea is certainly not new but the recipe is something I have developed over the years as I tried to replicate a mediterranean wrap I had in college.  The taste is great with the combination of feta and greek dressing... and it is full of veggies.  We like to eat it as a wrap with tortillas and sliced cucumber and I have also recently taken to eating it straight or over greens.  It is easy to put together and keeps well in the fridge.  If you're looking for a simple no-oven meal or something a little different to pack for lunches give this a try and let me know what you think :)

Greek Salad Mix

Ingredients - 
1-2 green peppers, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (even better with fresh!)
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
1 red onion, diced  (or less, to taste)
1 container crumbled feta
Greek style vinaigrette

Directions -  
Combine chopped veggies and feta.  Add viniagrette to taste.  Eat plain or enjoy over flat bread with cucumbers and spinach. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ham and swiss sliders

A friend from work gave me this recipe for sliders and it is wonderful (and ridiculously simple).  We ate them all in about two settings and then the next week my husband wanted to know if there was more.  Unfortunately there wasn't :(   The recipe was so easy I decided to take a batch to a friend who was moving.  Her family loved them too and were equally as sad when they were gone so she asked for the recipe.  Thus, it's getting put up on the blog quicker than most things I make!

The sandwiches are relatively quick to assemble and the sauce is quickly mixed and melted in the microwave.  I was a little skeptical about the sauce ingredients but they really come together perfectly in these sliders.  With the mix of flavors and the gooey cheese they are delicious warm from the oven.  And the other good news is that they were just as delicious when we heated them up for leftovers.  If you try them, let me know what you think!

Ham and Swiss Sliders

Recipe originally from Jessica

Ingredients -
12 hawaiian rolls
ham (or other deli meat)
swiss cheese
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp onion flakes
2 tbsp worcestershire
2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions -
Slice hawaiian rolls if not pre-sliced.  Assemble sandwiches with rolls, ham, and swiss.  Place sandwiches in a baking pan (9"x13" was about right for the size rolls I had).  Combine remaining ingredients and pour (while stirring) evenly over sandwiches.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy warm from the oven :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

When the nursery is a crucible

Nurseries are happy places.  Warm places.  Chaotic places.  Places where little ones learn to share and be kind.  Places where we laugh and are silly.  Places where we sing and dance.

And what happens when the nursery becomes a crucible?

Sure the little ones might think it a place of trial at times as they melt down, too long past nap time, because someone took their plastic asparagus.

But what about when it is the women’s hearts that are melting in this crucible?

When the talk as they set out pretzels and sippy cups for eager hands is not just of cute pinterest ideas or new recipes…
But when the paperwork has been done and she is waiting for adoption circulars, waiting…and waiting… waiting for a baby.
When another is tearful as she confesses she’s had a hard time lately because this is the month her baby would have been born and now she’s wondering, and healing… and waiting for a baby... someday.
When to another it simply seems that the waiting will go on forever because her cycle has started yet again… yet another month of waiting… and waiting for the hope of a baby.
When another doesn’t know what to do with the defiance of her two year old…just trying to make it through the day, waiting on this baby turned child.

When these hearts are melting Lord we cry out.  

We cry for each other, we cry for ourselves… ourselves like little children whining “I don’t want to wait, I want it now” when the word comes softly to our hearts speaking the words of truth...  “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).  
In the chapter that starts out “Comfort, comfort my people” (v.1)... that though there is desolation and bringing low and falling, yet “here is your God! See, the sovereign Lord comes with power…See, his reward is with Him” (v. 9-10).  
But I don’t want to see….for if I see and rest perhaps He will forget?  Perhaps I can do it in my own power?  Maybe I don’t want to trust Him who “sits enthroned above the circle of the earth”(v. 22)… though it is He who “tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to his heart…” (v. 11).
Surely I must know better.  Surely I can fight for my way because His way is not like my plan…. How can it be? For “who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as his counselor?” (v.13), He who “has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand” (v. 12), who “stretches out the heavens like a canopy”(v. 22).  He who is “the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth”, He who “will not grow weary, and his understanding no one can fathom”(v. 28).
Yet I am still tempted to agree with Israel and say… “my way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God” (v. 27).  But do I not know?  Have I not heard?  Has it not been taught to me over and over again?  Though the tears fall….“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?  He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (v. 26).
He who calls out the stars, who knows them and names them… is it not he who calls forth dreams? Calls forth life?  Calls forth babies from the womb?  Calls forth lives of surrender and grace? That though I cannot see, “all the days ordained for me where written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  That though I stumble and crumble “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (v.29).  That His plan is good and that he has been working all things together for our good since before the foundations of the world.
Each day he calls us forth in strength… he calls us by our name, a new name… and because of his strength we can stand, we can run, we can soar.

So I rise from the place of tears and find it a place of the cross, a place of surrender.

If our hearts need melting Lord, may they be melted into the image of your Son. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Danny's salsa

Today I have a great salsa recipe for you.  This is something I grew up having and now that we're married my husband loves it too.  In our family it is called Danny's salsa because my cousin Danny was the one who introduced us to it, but where the original recipe was from I don't know.   

It is nice as a side but we have also used it on top of grilled chicken and greens to make a different version of taco salad.  It's not at all spicy (which is good for me) and since it's full of protein and veggies I don't feel bad eating it as a meal sometimes :)  
Another plus is that it's very easy to throw together and keeps decently for a few days in the fridge.  It could be a nice addition to your next picnic, potluck, or cookout!

Danny's Salsa

Ingredients - 
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
chopped tomato (equal in volume to the corn)
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Directions - 
Combine all ingredients.  You can't get any simpler than three word directions can you?!  Eat with tortilla chips or however the mood strikes you :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer days :)

Summer has flown by so fast!  Between work and school it has seemed like I have just blinked and it is almost gone.  I was thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a Saturday just doing summer things like visiting with friends, going to a farmers market, and having a picnic.

A friend and I walked to a local farmers market in the morning.  Neither of us had been to it before and it was a nice mix of produce, baked goods, and even handmade items.  I was excited to find out that this might be a spot where I could sell some of my work next year!  And of course I came home with some goodies - delicious bread, sweet banana peppers for sandwiches, corn on the cob, and some red potatoes.

My friend Emily (who happens to blog over at the art of delicious) and her husband were traveling through town and stopped for a picnic lunch.  She had brought a spanish tortilla, which I had never heard of, and I made a trifle on the spur of the moment.  I ended up mixing cream cheese in with the pudding and using crumbled shortbread cookies as part of the cake (to learn more about trifles, check out this post).  Yum!

And last but not least it was nice to just enjoy the outdoors and all of the beauty God has grown in our garden...

Hope you can get out and enjoy His glory everywhere!