Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Strawberry Apple Galette

I'm sure I will say this a half a dozen times this season but I LOVE this season. Cool breezes, hot apple cider, fires going in the fireplace, cozy blankets, and all the love and celebrations that go along with the magic of fall and winter. 

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated two years of marriage! Two years ago we chose to have a rehearsal luncheon because my dad's 80th birthday was the day before our wedding. That night we threw an incredibly sweet and fun surprise birthday party for him. It was the night before our wedding, and we were celebrating so many things that weekend. It brought us joy to be able to invite others into "our day" and good for our souls to not make the weekend all about ourselves. 

My dad loves pies, and has been begging me for a blueberry pie for a while. Well, I didn't have blueberries in the house this week (sorry dad!) but did have apples and strawberries. I decided to whip something together with those fruits + the rolled pie crust I had in the freezer for his celebration dinner. The result was divine. 


1 rolled pie crust (found in refrigerated section at grocery)
3-4 apples (honey crisp, gala, fuji, or similar)
1 cup strawberries
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of salt

Coconut Whipped Cream recipe found here. 

Preheat oven to 400 f

Start by allowing your pie crust to thaw to room temperature. Core and slice apples evenly. Hull and quarter strawberries and add both fruits to a medium size bowl. 

Mix in the remaining ingredients and stir to coat fruit evenly. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour for flavors to meld together. 

Unroll pie crust over a round 9 x 11 pie dish. Slowly pour fruit mixture into the middle of the crust and fold edges around evenly, pinching with fingers to secure the crust together. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and cook for an additional 15 minutes, checking to make sure crust is golden brown. 

Allow to cool for a few minutes then slice and serve with a dollop of coconut whipped cream! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Three Layer Tex-Mex Dip

Our family has been in and out of suitcases lately. I love being able to travel, and it was especially nice without our little one tagging along. My husband and I enjoyed many long conversations  that weren't interrupted by a diaper or feeding or baby kiss-a-thon.

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is experiencing the different foods that make their way into the culture of the city and state, or even country. However, no matter how incredibly delicious the food of the region is, I always crave Tex-Mex upon landing on Texas soil. Something about the heat radiating off the pavement and the wide open skies calls me to eat all the chips and salsa, fajitas and empanada's in sight.

Needless to say, Tex-Mex has been on the menu for the past couple of weeks in our household. I whipped up this quick and delicious three layer dip to go along with my Texas Stuffed Peppers and I'm even snacking on it now as I type. I love the tang of the goat milk yogurt along with the spices of the black beans. This is definitely going on my list of favorite appetizers and snacks.

I'm over at My Cooking Spot today sharing this easy recipe! Join me there to get the details :) Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BLT Orecchiette Pasta

Bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Such a classic all-American sandwich staple. To be honest I never really got into this sandwich. Anyone else out there just hunger for something more in a sandwich? It always felt a little lacking to me. But then I had a brilliant thought to create something similar in pasta form! This dish is so simple to make, and delicious! The orecchiette pasta is shaped like little cups, which scoop up the melty and flavorful ingredients perfectly. Each bite is packed with flavor. 

Aren't these colors gorgeous? It's my absolute favorite to cook with beautiful colors! It's truly an art form for me. 

We served ours with some chopped hearts of romaine and a quick homemade Caesar dressing. Simple, simple simple. Go for it and love dinner time this week. 

Serves: 4


4 slices of bacon
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 cup (or one small package) of baby tomatoes
two heaping cups of arugula 
1 (15 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound orecchiette pasta

Heat up a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add four slices of bacon and allow to sizzle on both sides until crispy. Remove and let rest on a paper towel to absorb excess grease.

Lower the heat on the same pan, adding onions and letting them caramelize slowly. I like to add a bit of salt and pepper to aid this process. When the onions start to become translucent and soft, add tomatoes. Cover the pan with a lid and allow everything to steam over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Add arugula and return lid to the pan, letting the arugula wilt. 

When the tomatoes start to break open on their own, you're ready for the next step. Shake the coconut milk before opening the can, then pour into the pan along with the juice from one lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. The coconut milk will bubble and reduce into a creamy sauce. While this is simmering, chop bacon into tiny pieces and throw into the pan. 

Heat a large pot full of water and bring to a boil. Season liberally with salt and add pasta. Cook according to package time instructions. Drain pasta and combine pasta and vegetables in the large pot, along with the fresh garlic, stirring to combine all the flavors. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Few things are better than a homemade dinner, particularly one that you know is wholesome and can be counted on for leftovers. Roasted chicken with vegetables is one of my favorite meals to make because I know I can stretch it. Call me a dinner time hacker but I love it when I can make meals go further, stretching my dollars and my time. Chicken enchiladas with the leftover chicken meat, topping salads with leftover veggies, and creating a sort of liquid gold known as bone broth (or homemade chicken stock) are some of favorite ways to use leftovers from this meal. My favorite bone broth recipe can be found here.

Can we also just admit that roasted chicken seems incredibly fancy yet it’s easy as punch to throw together? The first time I ever made it I was shocked by this and utterly amazed. Are you a lazy (or tired mom at the end of a long day) person who wants your family to think you’re fancy? Try this dish — I promise you’ll wow everyone involved.

See the full recipe over at My Cooking Spot

Photography by Joshua & Kimberly Barnes

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Portland Perspective

Within 10 minutes of leaving the airport gates the brokenness of this city is evident. We enter the red line train heading towards Providence as a hodge-podge of Gods glorious creation pile on along with us. 

A family sprints to the train at a stop, stroller and cigarette in hand, expletives begin flowing loudly on the train with three babies under foot yelling "mommy, mommy!" One woman has a top rack of teeth missing all but a handful and they argue about scorned friendships...and my heart breaks. 

Hispanic mama bear with her daughter in tow, middle aged father with a curious son, grunge man half asleep, clean cut business man, African American hopelessly in love with an ex-fiancé, and us. What a mix, what a showcase of God's beauty and design. What interesting stories each of us have, parts of them being told as we share a ride together. 

Relaxing in an oasis of forest trees and bright yellow fall leaves. A grown man swinging on a child's playground and interacting with toddlers like he is one himself. 

We lazily stroll on, up the hill, across the cross walk and into a beautiful shelter of roses where we think someone might be getting engaged, but we're not sure. :) I admire the gorgeous hues of the flowers, smelling their sweetness, each so particular to their kind. My very wise husband turns to me and says "if only the hearts of the people could know this kind of beauty." Yes. Amen. That the brilliance of a garden of lush greens and roses would transpire in the hearts of men and women of each of our cities. Because the truth is, Portland is no more broken than my city, or yours. We are all needy, gap-toothed and homeless, a mixture of beautiful and strife all wrapped in flesh. 

Let's allow that to move us towards gratefulness today. Happy Thursday. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Oh gosh....what more can be said for a warm bowl of pumpkin spice oatmeal. My house is frigid in the mornings, just the way I like it. It makes curling up on the couch with my journal, Bible, coffee and oatmeal (or other warm breakfast variety) that much better. Here's a simple recipe for your Friday morning -- enjoy :) 

Serves: 2

1 cup old fashioned oats*
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A splash of almond milk (or any kind of milk)
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark, either work perfectly)

*note: the oatmeal I buy calls for 1 cup of oats to make two servings of oatmeal. Check the back of your oatmeal container for proper measurements of water to oats. Cook enough for two servings. 

Cook oats in water as directed on it's packaging. I always salt the water first with a bit of salt. 

Whisk together remaining ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Once oatmeal is cooked, stir in the pumpkin mixture and combine well. 

Finish off with any toppings you like! I love shredded coconut and sliced banana, and I always end up splashing in some almond milk as well for extra creaminess. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Puerto Rican Garbanzos with Sausage + Rice

Oh hey, so I've been gone for a little while. For one I went to The Influence Conference, then I came back and in the middle of intense processing of what I learned at the conference, laundry, cleaning, unpacking, trying to rest -- this crazy virus hit our house. Jordan and I were dead to the world for about 48 hours. That left me needing to catch up on work and other household things before we leave town AGAIN tomorrow! 

Before we go, I wanted to share a quick recipe and join in on Oh Simple Thoughts' Bread & Wine Project! Each month we share recipes with each other and talk about something in particular relating to food. This month we're thinking about what it looks like to slow down in the kitchen while also balancing the reality that sometimes, dinner just needs to happen and get on the table quickly. With a baby, this tension is all too familiar to me. I still deeply enjoy cooking a long meal and get bored with the crock pot version of everything. With all the traveling we've been doing, these simpler meals have worked for us. Not to mention, the budget definitely does better when you're not buying every fresh herb, etc. to make a dish "complete." 

I've shared here before some ways I like to slow down our food by using our local co-op for produce and healthy meat. It's definitely a balance. On the nights when I save dinner until after bedtime, we eat late, but I find that it is more relaxing for me and I can really slow my breathing and enjoy the process. We've also been trying our hand at fermented veggies and are loving diving into more traditionally prepared foods. This definitely slows the process down for me and I love that. When we get back from our trip this weekend I'll be starting to sprout our grains and will be testing out a batch of homemade bread. With these homemade things always in the mix, I feel we strike a good balance in our home. 

This dish is easy but different, and was a staple in my home growing up. It is such a hearty, warm meal and is the perfect go-to during the colder months. I hope you enjoy it! 

Serves: 4


Olive oil, for cooking
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 links sausage, any kind (we used kielbasa)*
2 (14 ounce) can garbanzo beans 
1 cup chicken broth 
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Chili powder
brown rice*

Pour some olive oil into a pot over medium-low heat and add shallots and garlic. Sauté until translucent. We used kielbasa sausage because it does not come in a casing and is easier to cut. It's also the only sausage I've been able to find in a grocery store that doesn't have nitrates or added sugar. Cut sausage into coins and add to pot, increasing heat and letting them brown on each side. 

*note: if sausage is in casing, freeze and cut while frozen. Peel casing off once thawed and cook all the way through. 
*Cook brown rice according to package instructions, enough to feed four people. This recipe easily doubles or can be cut in half as well based on your desires :)

Add your garbanzo beans along with the water from the can plus a cup of chicken broth. Bring everything to a boil, stir a bit, then lower the heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. Add arrowroot powder, salt and pepper, and a few shakes of chili powder and stir until combined. Allow everything to simmer for a few more minutes to allow the arrowroot to thicken up the liquid. I choose to use arrowroot powder in my cooking now because it is a non-GMO healthier version of cornstarch and acts the same way as a thickening agent in stews, etc. 

Serve over brown rice and enjoy!