deviled eggs

Y’all,  I seriously love spring.  Having a baby through the winter, has made me appreciate the outdoors more than ever.   Getting this baby boy out in the warmer weather and sunshine just makes my heart so happy.  As soon as I saw the Robin Eggs at the grocery, I bought a bag of course, and I just got all excited about the promise of spring.

So here we are, Easter is almost here, and it looks a lot different for me this year.  Easter, well really all holidays, get kind of complicated with a little one.  It’s tough on baby (and parents) to balance getting ready for church, feedings, naps, long drives, lots of people, and different places all in one day.  However, I really don’t want to stress out over the business of the day and schedules being thrown off.  I have realized in this mothering journey so far, that sometimes I just have to let it go for a day or two.  Or else worrying about Maverick’s day being “off” will rob me of enjoying and celebrating such a sacred day.  So, I’m going to pray about it the next few days, which might seem a little silly, but I’m going to pray that Maverick will get the rest he needs, and that I’ll have a special peace over me this Easter.  I want to do my best to soak it in and truly celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and freedom He gave us through the cross.   So, I’m praying and believing for a wonderful Easter in the midst of all that the day will surely bring.

Sidenote: If you have young families in your extended family, cut them some slack on Easter.  They might be late, their kids might be fussy, but us newbies to parenting are just doing the best we can.  We’ve never had a baby on Easter before, it’s tougher than it looks!

Now, onto some Easter recipes, I am sharing 2 ways to put a spin on an Easter menu staple: the deviled egg.  I’m quite fond of a boiled egg on it’s own (see more egg recipes here) but add some mayo and seasonings to those yolks and you have one delicious little treat!  Last year I made these Hummus Deviled Eggs, so this year I am giving you two new ideas that are an easy and fun way to spice up this classic.  Zach said the pesto ones are the best deviled eggs he has ever had, but my dad preferred the Cream Cheesy ones.  Let me know which ones you like best!

Enjoy and have a Happy Easter!

deviled eggs 2

Date posted: April 1, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Appetizer Holidays Sides

easter recipe collage

Easter is a week away, and I’m thinking spring is here to stay, thank the good Lord!   Speaking of, do you know what you are making for Easter dinner?!  If you haven’t gotten there yet, I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes to help get you started.  In addition to these, I have a couple of new recipes for your menu coming this week, so stay tuned for those as well.

Also be sure to tune in THIS FRIDAY to Talk of the Town on Channel 5 at 11am for one of my exclusive cookbook recipes that is one of my go-to main dishes for grilling season!

Below you’ll find the links and pictures to some of my fave Spring/Easter dishes…Happy Menu Planning!

Farm Fresh Corn Pudding

corn pudding

 

Fruity Feta Salad

fruity feta

Corny Bacon and Tomato Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Cheesy Asparagus Risotto

asparagus risotta

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Asparagus

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato Casserole

mashed potato cass

Strawberry Almond Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

Luscious Lemon Icebox Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie

Date posted: March 30, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Dessert Holidays Sides

Tropical smoothie

You know those people on Facebook who just seem to “do it all?”  They are up early, like really early, starting their day with a workout, devotional, and positive thinking quote.  They are successful in their work, whatever that may be, and they seem to still have time for their family and a social life.  Pretty obnoxious, right?!  Ha, just kidding…sort of.

Well, since having a baby, Zach and I have often wondered how in the world can we do all of the things we really want/need to do?  It just doesn’t seem like there is enough time for all of it, but then we see these people who seem to have way more on their plate than we do, and they are still doing it all.  I am not saying these people have perfect lives, and I know we can’t see behind the scenes.  However, they do seem to know something or be doing something different to be able to juggle daily time with God, a workout regimen, quality time with their family, quality time with friends, and successful careers on top of all of that.

Unfortunately, the one thing we have noticed that these people have in common is that they all get up early, like in fives, like it’s still dark outside early.  Yikes.  We are not morning people…at all.  The thought of waking up at 5am, is frankly a little terrifying.  It means going to bed earlier, and the problem is, we are night people.  We like to stay up and watch TV, talk, laugh…stare at our phones.  But the people we feel like God is calling us to be are early risers.  We need that extra two hours in the day to do all of things that will honestly just make us better, more productive people.  We want to be the kind of people who get the most out of life.

We have big dreams, and we really see God doing something new, stirring out hearts, and we just want to be a part of it in whatever way He wants to use us.  But to be a part of it, we need more time, which means, we have to get up in the dark.

So today was Day 1.  And I have to say it’s 8am, and I have already made a new recipe (this super delicious Tropical Green Smoothie I’m sharing) spent time in the word, had some unrushed time with Zach, and worked out.  I’m pretty amazed at all I could do in the 2 hours before Maverick woke up for the day at 7am.  I know in a few days, the excitement will wear off and 5:30 will get really tough.  The good news is we are in it together, and I’m hoping we can push each other and stick to this.  I think it could be a game changer, pray for us!

As far as the smoothie recipe, I wanted to change up my typical morning smoothie.  So, I made this tropical themed green smoothie today, and it was really yummy!   I am such a cheerleader for smoothies in the morning.  For over 2 years, we have had a smoothie almost every morning, and it has really changed my diet and helped me maintain and even lose weight.  There is something about putting fruits and greens in my body first thing in the morning, it just sets me up for success in how I eat for the whole day.

So enjoy this tasty blend, and if you are an early riser, any tips on how to stick to this routine?!

Tropical smoothie

 

Date posted: March 23, 2015 | Author: | 2 Comments »

Categories: Breakfast Health and Diet Mommyhood Personal Thoughts

fruity feta

Hello friends!

I kept meaning to write a post last week, but, well, I just never got to it.  I had a pretty busy week after an emotional but really wonderful women’s retreat with our church at Evin’s Mill in Smithville, TN.  It’s funny, while we were on the retreat, most of us slipped and fell on our butts at some point from the ice still on the ground, and yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny here in Tennessee!  Needless to say, this sun and warmer air has got us all walking with a little pep in our step this Monday morning.  It’s so refreshing.  God is good.  I won’t go into too much detail about the retreat, but I do want to share a little of how God spoke to me while I was there and since I have been back.

God truly makes all things NEW, just like the clean, spring air.  He turns cold, dreary days days of winter into bright, fresh days of spring.  It’s not always easy to come to terms with our own sin, especially the ugly stuff that settles deep down in our being.  It’s not the stuff we want to think about, much less have a discussion about.  However, I know from experience that every time I have walked in obedience and confessed my sin to others, God begins renewal and healing in that area of my life.  The enemy wants us to think that our sins our too big, that we will be rejected if we humble ourselves and speak them out.  And we may be rejected by man in some way, BUT the Lord will never reject us.  He will set us free, and that is how we can take hold of the life that is truly life.  Living in freedom is not something that we get just by following the rules and appearing to have it all together.  It’s a freedom in our souls that only can He gives us through our own confession and acknowledgement on a daily basis that we need Him.  We need His forgiveness, His peace, His unfailing love, and last but definitely not least His GRACE.

If you are struggling in any area of your life, I would encourage you to confess it to someone you trust, whoever He is leading you to.  Once you speak it out, it will automatically begin to lose some of its power over you.  He will begin a new work in you and let me just tell you, again from experience, it’s totally worth the pain, the shame, and the discomfort.  He turns our junk into something so beautiful, and when He has done this in my life, I experience His grace in such a real, raw way.  There is truly nothing like it, this is what it’s all about.  Whether it’s something big or small, I do believe the enemy will use whatever he can to keep us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our life to expand His kingdom in the world.

 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28-30  (The Message)

So, I know, that was heavy, but I want to just share my heart here, along with recipes I love.  So, in honor of Spring and new life, I’m sharing a light and fresh spring salad.

If you are a little unsure about the idea of fruit mixed with feta, just think about a cheese plate where you have lots of sweet and savory flavors combined. I just mixed it all together in this salad, and I’m telling you it is to die for! Serve it with crackers, over greens, or just eat it with a fork.  It would be perfect for a picnic on one of these warm days we are having!   

fruity feta

 

 

 

Date posted: March 16, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Sides

fruit skewers

Aren’t these fruit skewers beautiful?!  I can’t actually take the credit for them, I got the idea  from Pinterest, of course!  The fruit dip, however, is my little twist on the traditional marshmallow creme fruit dip that has been around for years.  It’s sweet, slightly tangy, and highly addictive!  I made this for a shower last weekend, and it was a hit.

Speaking of the shower, there is actually a little story behind this fruit dip.  Do you ever have those moments where you really feel like you’ve got it going on?  And about that time, you quickly realize that you don’t and you just need Jesus!  I’ll be honest, lately I have had a little bit of a pride issue going on.  Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but a few things have happened within the past week or two that have made it pretty obvious what or more appropriately “who” I’ve been all about – ME.  You see, I went to this shower with my new dress, my fruit skewers, my homemade fruit dip, my homemade punch (from my upcoming cookbook no less), and my baby boy in tow.  I was feeling pretty “put together,” if you know what I mean.  Well, after a few things went wrong that weren’t in my plans for the day, my true colors began to show through.  I let a few silly things stress me out and as the day unfolded, I hurt the feelings of someone close to me, because I was so consumed with me and mine.

You see, ever since becoming a mom, I have felt a pressure like I’ve never known.  All of the sudden, keeping the house clean, keeping my appearance up, staying social, and just living up to the expectations set by myself and society has proven to be very difficult and exhausting.  I have found myself wanting so badly to portray the image of what I think I “should” be.  And the day of the shower I thought I was doing a pretty good job of that, but it had just of become all about me.  As soon as a few little things went wrong, and my image wasn’t so picture perfect, I became stressed and honestly, a little rude.  When I’m all about me, I become less about serving the Lord and serving others.

All of that to say, I’m hoping that this dip will serve as a reminder to me the next time I make it for a party or gathering that I don’t have to be perfect.  I don’t have to appear as if I have it all together, all of the time, because let’s face it, I don’t.  Even if I do appear that way sometimes in the eyes of others, what have I really gained throughout that?  Approval from my peers, lots of time and money spent trying to impress, resulting in more stress when something goes wrong or isn’t perfect?  First of all, I don’t really think it’s possible to  “be all of the things,” and at the end of the day it won’t bring me true joy.  I would love to be the kind of person who looks for ways to serve others, who is attentive to their feelings and needs, and I can’t do that when I’m so focussed on myself that I don’t really see anyone else.

So, I hope you will try this fruit dip, because it really is delish.  But if you make it for a party or gathering, don’t put so much pressure on yourself, because we aren’t perfect, and no one really expects us to be.   We don’t have to do it all, all of the time, isn’t there some real freedom in that?!

IMG_7391

 

Date posted: March 4, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Appetizer Dessert Snacks