Wednesday, October 14, 2015

God's Promises.

Today's point of praise: "This is my comfort in my affliction, that your word has revived me." (Psalm 119:50) Day #9

Let's talk about marriage for a second. How many times have been distraught in a tough situation until our spouse offered us their words of comfort and encouragement? Where would we be without mutual communication in our marriages? It would really suck.

This is what I thought about today after reading my devotional: communication. We are able to communicate with God through prayer and he is able to indirectly communicate back to us through his promises in the Bible. If we aren't praying or reading the bible then our communication with God is hurting, as I'm sure we've all experienced at some point. And when we read the bible, we read it through our own individual lens - our experiences give the words personal meaning and weight. And who gives us those experiences? God - through his plan for us. I think that is awesome.

My sister, Amanda, and I always talk about how hard mornings are in our houses full of little ones. It seems like no matter what time I wake up in the morning, there hasn't been enough sleep. Amanda and I both wait until the kids are awake in the morning to get up and out of bed ... which is probably a big mistake. We've both talked about how we probably should start to get up a bit before they do in order to have actually warm coffee and time to ourselves for reflection. It sounds like such a great idea until just after putting the kids to bed. I bask in the kid-free evenings and often stay up late watching Grey's Anatomy reruns on Netflix. (I'm a night owl.) If you watch the Bachelor on ABC, you might remember the best bachelor ever - Shawn - and his adorable family, which includes his sister, Shay. I love her blog! She wrote on this topic once and her early morning routine has always sounded so peaceful to me. (Here is an example of why I love the idea of her morning routine.) I'd love to wake up and start the day with coffee and some motivation and blessed encouragement. The mornings that I do start the day thanking God - regardless of what time I get up - really does set my mind in a more positive direction.

To go back to talking about marriage again, it always makes my morning SO MUCH better when I wake up to a good morning text from Tony - and the best when I get to wake up and have a conversation with him. It'd be a nice feeling to do the same (but not exactly) with Christ - to wake up and reflect on his word.

"We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand he stretches out." Elizabeth Elliot

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cream-of-Whatever Substitute

So I mentioned the other day that I refuse to buy cream-of-whatever soups anymore. For one, the consistency (including color) just grosses me out. Why does it look like that? Plus, why would I buy the soup when I could easily make a substitute myself for super cheap and easy?

Good observation by Dave Ramsey
Something I like about this recipe is every ingredient is something most folks have on hand at all times. Which makes the cost of the recipe low low low.

Cream of Chicken Substitute (yields one can cream of chicken)

  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk in flour until smooth & bubbly.
  3. Remove from heat & add broth/milk.
  4. Return to heat & gentle boil - whisking constantly until soup thickens.

One of my favorite ever side dishes is green bean casserole and when I made the casserole with this substitute instead of the canned soup it tasted SO amazing! I use it all the time and at first it seemed to add so much time to every recipe but it's not bad at all. And like I said before, it is definitely worth it.

And when you've got to wrangle kids, carts, and groceries while shopping one less thing to have to bring home makes a difference.

I swear this isn't becoming a cooking blog but it seems like that's the only thing I've felt motivated to share lately and I'm clutching onto it like crazy and hoping to use it on a bridge back to writing and sharing! Now you: What are your favorite substitutions to make in the kitchen? Have any good recipes to share? I'd love to hear from those of you reading this on what you think!

    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    Not-From-Scratch Chicken Pot Pie

    In our house, I am the chef. (And 9 times out of 10 it's just so I can retreat to the kitchen while Tony plays with the kids. #mommyconfession) I really do love to cook! I'm not always GREAT at it... mostly because I like to stray from directions - which is why I'm an awful baker. And of course I'm just still learning in general. Last night we had chicken pot pie and it was the first time I've ever made it. It was a huge hit!!!

    • Refrigerated Pie Crusts - they come in a 2 pack at our Kroger & are right next to all the canned biscuits
    • Chicken - I used right around a pound
    • Veggies - I never measure... so somewhere around 2 cups of vegetables should be appropriate
    • One can Cream-of-Whatever Soup - your preference
    • 1 cup of milk
    • 1/4 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
    • Salt & Pepper to taste
    For last night's dinner I used some canned corn, canned green beans, and broccoli for the vegetable portion and instead of using a can of cream of whatever, I used a homemade substitute recipe that is not difficult but just an extra step and definitely worth it.

    And here is a photo of the pie crusts if you are like me and it is your first time using (and finding) these just so you know what you're looking for while shopping!

    1. If your pie crust is similar to mine, you'll need to take the rolls of dough out of the fridge and keep them at room temperature for 15 minutes before getting started.
    2. While you're waiting on the dough, you can cook your chicken. I threw mine in the oven. Some people use shredded rotisserie chicken (which is SO tasty). 
    3. Now that your pie crusts are ready, you'll fit one pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Combine your chicken, veggies, soup, milk, and seasoning in bowl and then pour on top of the pie crust. I added some cheese, too. Fit the second crust on top and crimp the edges together and cut several slits into the top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Halfway through cover the edges of the pie with foil if they're getting too brown.

    The thing I like about chicken pot pie is you can really make it however you want! If you have frozen vegetables - you can use those without having to thaw them or precook them. If you have leftover meats or veggies, this is a great recipe to use those. It'll be delicious no matter what you throw in there!

    I'm going to start meal planning at home and have been thinking about also posting at the beginning of every week what our dinner plans are - including recipes and the accompanying grocery list. Let me know if that's something you have interest in OR if you have any favorite recipes you'd like to share. I'd also love to hear how the chicken pot pie worked out for you and what you did differently!