Thursday, July 26, 2012

The clouds open when we mouth thanks

I'm re-reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts, and just couldn't help passing along this one particular paragraph. Such good words...

"I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, any my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of the crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives. Why would the world need more anger, more outrage? How does it save the world to reject unabashed joy when it is joy that saves us? Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for the world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Macy's 7th Birthday

Since the birth order starts over after a five year gap between siblings, I call sweet Macy, my second firstborn.  So, earlier this month, my second firstborn, my firecracker baby, turned seven!  

She gets a few more freckles every year... gotta love this red-headed sweetheart!  

(Thank you, Sydney, for another wonderful photo shoot!  These pictures were taken by my talented daughter, the big sister, in May.)

Happy Birthday, Macy!!!  Your daddy and I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beef and vegetable soup

Here's another garden-inspired recipe I've been using a lot this summer... 

Every time hubby and the kids bring in a cabbage from the garden, I know this will be making it's way onto the menu in the next day or two!  My parents were visiting when a cabbage was carried in from the back yard by a freckle-faced, bare-footed cutie recently, and my dad went on and on about how much he loved this soup!  So, here's the recipe (if you call using no measurements and adding all ingredients "to taste" a recipe) Dad wanted me to send you, Mom:  

First, brown about 1 pound of ground beef in bottom of olive oil drizzled pan, 

When the beef is about halfway browned, add a generous layer of dried Italian seasoning to mix in as it finishes.

After the beef is completely browned and cooked (and grease drained, if necessary), stir in a box of beef broth, a family-size can of tomato soup, and a can (same soup can) of water.  If you want the soup to go further, you can add a second box of broth, or more water, keeping in mind that more water always makes it necessary to add more salt!

As the soup warms up over a medium-high heat, have veggies sauteing in about 4 T of butter.  (I use about 1 yellow onion, 3 stalks of celery, and 3 carrots- here I was finishing up a handful of baby carrots)

While veggies are softening over medium heat, add chopped cabbage (small head, or half to more of a bigger head) to the soup pot.  

As the veggies continue to soften, sprinkle another generous layer of the Italian seasoning to the pan.

Once stirred into the vegetables, the veggie/herb combo should look like this...

Add a couple good sized tomatoes, (canned would probably work just fine... these are fresh from the garden...mmm!) to the soup.

Add the vegetables, and let the soup simmer as long as you'd like.  Your vegetables will probably need at least another 30 minutes or so with the rest of the soup, but as a rule, the longer the flavors meld on a low simmer, the better it tastes.  

And soup always tastes better the second day, after it's been hanging out all together for a while, especially when cabbage is involved!  

I didn't get a picture of the soup in the bowls, but we love to top ours with shredded cheese and a tiny dollop of sour cream.  So good!  Everyone at our house LOVES this soup, from the two year old all the way up to Daddy.  It's super easy, and makes everyone happy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Homemade salsa

The abundance of the garden, even in a drought, promises our favorite recipes being put to use! (Thank you, wonderful husband, for faithfully planting, watering, and harvesting!)

Here is one of our favorite uses for the overflowing tomato platters...

4 tomatoes
2 small cans of green chilies
2 small cans of diced black olives
10 green onions
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp sea salt
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T tarragon wine vinegar
Jalapeno peppers to taste (if desired)

Chop- purée the tomatoes to desired consistency in food processor. Chop green onions in food processor separately. Mix the chopped ingredients with remaining ingredients in big bowl. If desired, add jalapeños that can also be chopped in the processor.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...