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Bacon Blue Cheese Coleslaw


I’m serving pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and coleslaw tonight for our small group. This is my favorite way to make coleslaw, to me its actually easier than traditional because I tend to have these ingredients on hand.

Bacon Blue Cheese Coleslaw

8 bacon slices, cooked and chopped

3/4 c mayo

2 T red wine vinegar

1 T honey

16 oz coleslaw mix

1 c crumbled blue cheese

Whisk the mayo, vinegar and honey in a large bowl and stir in the coleslaw mix, cheese and bacon. Season with salt and pepper (remember the bacon and cheese both add salt) to taste. Cover and refrigerate, best if allowed to sit for about two hours.

Time’s Up


On a plane recently the flight attendant announced that it was time to place our phones into airplane mode while we were about to take off. Immediately I remembered an important email that had to be sent, couldn’t wait the three plus hours until I had another opportunity. I tried to shoot off a quick note, but had to put my phone away and accept the fact that the email was not going to make it.

It’s funny how hard we will work to make time to not need to work. Every year during the holidays, we stress over a list of gifts, food and acts of kindness and as Christmas gets closer, the frenzy becomes stronger. And then suddenly, you have to be okay with wherever you are in your list. Time’s up.

Those first few minutes in the car at the start of a long trip are hard for me; did I remember everything? Are all the details taken care of at the house and at the place we are going? And then suddenly, it really doesn’t matter because you have left the neighborhood and however much was done will have to be enough. Time’s up.

Years ago I was having major surgery, and felt pretty certain it was not going to end well. I wrote letters to my closest friends and family. I loved on my guy and my babies the best I could and cherished every minute I had with them, until it was time to be wheeled into the operating room. Suddenly, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t ready for what could happen. Time’s up.

I wish I didn’t need to have these stopwatch moments in life that force me to really cease and desist. What if we lived more like those final minutes of letting it go, being more okay with where we are and less concerned with where we should be? If I’m honest with myself, there is a feeling of relief when I realize that the time is up, that the ability to improve is no longer an option and I just need to rest in what has been done.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Spicy Vietnamese Shrimp with Coconut Rice


Five years ago I attended a cooking class with a friend and this dish was on the menu. Since then it has become a family favorite because of it’s deep flavor and ease in preparing. The trickiest part is finding Asian chili paste, I ordered it from Amazon when my local store stopped carrying it. This recipe is made to feed a crowd, but you can easily cut it in half. I make the full size and have some awesome leftovers.

Spicy Vietnamese Shrimp with Coconut Rice

3c jasmine rice

3 3/4 c water

1 1/2 t salt

4 T oil (I use Avocado)

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 t salt

28 oz  coconut milk (not lowfat)

4T Asian chili paste

2c fresh bean sprouts

2 green onions

2T fresh lime juice

Cook rice in water and salt for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered for about 15 minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet and add shrimp, garlic and salt for about 5 minutes until shrimp is pink. Remove the shrimp and add the coconut milk and chili paste, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to reduce by half, takes about five minutes. Add shrimp and rice and top with bean sprouts, green onions and lime juice. Serves 10-12.








All Day


I was settling in to bed last night, thinking through my last 15 hours and was convicted that I needed to pray for several people who had specifically asked for it, and for many others who hadn’t, and for situations that are occurring and others that possibly could. I was talking to God about talking to God, telling Him how much more I needed to be praying and wondering how to cover it all.

And then I was gently reminded; yes, this is a time when we need to be praying non-stop for our families and communities and states and countries just like so many points in history and like always, this can be done all day everyday. God walks alongside and is accessible all the time. Yes child, pray but do it constantly and for every thing.

It’s not just my right but my responsibility.

Eggplant Parmesan


I found this recipe in my latest Bon Appetit magazine, looked through the ingredients and determined I only needed to purchase eggplants and went for it! Unfortunately, I didn’t read the recipe closely and the whole thing took close to three hours to get to the table. Halfway through the job, I decided it wasn’t worth it….until my family LOVED it. That sounds about right….

Eggplant Parmesan

Marinara Sauce of your choice (I had some homemade sauce ready to go)

4 lb eggplants (I used two good sized), peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2″ thick

3 c panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 t oregano

1 t black pepper

1 1/ c grated parmesan, divided

1 1/3  flour

5 large eggs

1 1/3 c olive oil

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

6 oz mozzarella, grated

8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

Lightly season the eggplant slices with salt and place in a single layer on several layers of paper towels inside a rimmed cookie sheet. Continue topping layer with more eggplant slices and paper towels and put something heavy on top for an hour to pull the moisture out of the eggplants. This is important because it gives the eggplant a creamy texture when baked.

Meanwhile, pulse panko, oregano, pepper and 3/4 c parmesan in a food processor until finely ground. Place in a shallow bowl. Place flour in another shallow bowl and eggs in a third bowl. Dredge each eggplant slice into the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the panko crumb mixture. Place in a heated skillet (med high heat) with 2/ c olive oil. Cook as many eggplant slices at once as will fit into the skillet, turning once until golden brown, 3-5 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels and immediately press to absorb oil. Working in batches, repeat with remaining slices, adding the rest of the olive oil as needed. Allow to cool. It was at this point that I had decided this would be a one-time recipe!

Toss the chopped herbs, grated mozzarella and remaining parmesan into  medium bowl. Spread 1 c marinara sauce over the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan (I used two 9 inch squares), top with a layer of eggplant slices, drizzle 1 c sauce over slices and sprinkle with one third of cheese mixture. Add another layer of eggplant, 1c sauce and half of remaining cheese and repeat layers. Cover with foil and bake 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and arrange fresh mozzarella slices over eggplant. Increase oven to 425 degrees and bake uncovered 15 minutes more. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving, topping with Italian herbs.

It’s a commitment, but like most things in life, well worth the effort. Makes 12 servings



Growing Up

Image I grew up with the notion that God was distant and omnipotent, loving His people, but ready to punish and discipline as needed. I don’t fault my Sunday School teachers and their felt boards and characters, but the stories of Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale and even Daniel in the Lion’s Den didn’t do much to encourage a close, personal relationship with the All-Powerful. I was taught to pray before mealtime, at bedtime and at church. For years those prayers were rote words, recited out of fear and awe.

I am certain that the story of Jesus was taught at this time in my life, but beyond the basic message of salvation and the story of Zaccheus up in the tree, it’s all cloudy from the early years. Perhaps I was too young to understand grace and mercy, and only really heard about Jesus when I decided to listen, as a young adult. It was at this point that I understood the need for grace all too well. I began to pray my own words and my own heart for the first time, but because of all the mistakes and poor choices I had made, I spent years feeling unworthy of this gift of grace and relationship, rarely going beyond falling on my face with gratefulness.

I am so thankful that God has been patient with me, allowing me years to become comfortable enough to have an ongoing conversation with Him. It’s not that I now believe I’m worthy of this relationship, it’s more that I trust that He is good enough to make up for all that I lack. These days my prayers look very different; I see God as a constant presence in my day, going wherever I go and witnessing all that I say and do. This way of thinking helps me to stay in relationship with Him, and reminds me that what I am doing with my time matters. I try to let God guide my day, but I can still be pretty selfish and try to make my own way. I’m banking on His continual patience and steadfast love to grow me up into the person He wants me to be.



Mini Margarita Flatbread Pizza


I work from home, so lunch is usually for one and needs to be quick. Margarita pizza is my favorite kind, so I fix one of these pretty often for myself. Sometimes we’ll have it for dinner if no one is terribly hungry, or we’ll use this as a flatbread with pasta.

Mini Margarita Flatbread Pizza

1 Tandoori Naan (I buy small ones from Costco)

1 t olive oil

1/4 t Italian seasoning

1 tomato, sliced

3-4 slices mozzarella

1 bunch basil

1 t balsamic glaze

Oven 200 degrees. Defrost the naan bread as the oven is heating. Spread the olive oil as the first layer on the bread and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Place the tomato and mozzarella all over the flatbread and place in the oven 5-7 minutes, until the cheese starts to melt. Cut the basil into shreds and sprinkle over the flatbread and pour the balsamic glaze over the top.





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