Tag Archives: dinner

Journey Journal: Days 214-231

The last few weeks could be characterized by copious amounts of coffee accompanied by fabulous fellowship and foodie adventures, intermingled with thoughtful musings on articles and video clips. Check it out below.

“The relationship between coffee and well being” – picture courtesy of Stephen Altrogge

Day 214: Friday, August 2, 2013

Had another wedding today. Picked up the various pieces on Wednesday, started working on them on Thursday night, and finished up Friday morning–and actually got a full night’s sleep on this one!

This weekend’s wedding flower lineup included white hydrangeas, calla lilies and roses, blue delphinium, purple statice, peach wax flowers, green hypericum berries and grass…oh, and blue thistle!!  It turned out to be a beautiful combination! Here’s a sneak peek. I’ll post professional pics soon.

Day 215-216: Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2013

More house projects. A FaceTime “coffee chat” with one of my best friends, Katie. Church. And a “breakfast for dinner” get together on Sunday night as a send-off for three of our friends who are moving away from Greenville–two to work with a church in NC (while the husband pursues ordination with the intent towards chaplaincy), and the other to teach English abroad. It was a really good time…though we will miss our friends.

Day 217: Monday, August 5, 2013

On Monday, a friend from church dropped off their first batch of eggs from their farm! Of course, that automatically meant I “had” to have eggs for dinner. So we made a batch of sausage gravy and served it over toast with a farm-fresh omelet filled with onions, peppers, goat cheese and basil, topped with arugula. So delicious! You know the eggs are fresh when they yolks are perky and deep orange. I was super excited to start getting these each week…that was, until a coyote (or neighbor’s dog) got into the chicken coop. Sad day…because these eggs were amazing! We savored egg dishes the rest of the week!

Day 218: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One of the video clips I was fascinated by this week is below. Talk about “trash to treasure”–this “Landfillharmonic” clip is amazing! Makes me thankful for all that we have:

Day 219-220: Wednesday through Thursday, August 7-8, 2013

I had some perfect peaches, so I decided to make peach pie to share with our Shepherding Group. It turned out pretty good, but I’m still working on my pie not being too runny. After Shepherding Group on Wednesday, I made stuffed peppers for the first time in ages. I found several recipes online and adapted them to be my own unique creation–recipe here.

On Thursday, I heated up the stuffed peppers and took them to lunch with my friends Shannah and Annette. Annette brought a corn salad and a cucumber salad; Shannah shared a fresh spinach salad with homemade maple vinaigrette and homemade peach pie with latticed crust and all–it was perfect!

I had plenty of leftover stuffing left that didn’t go in our peppers, so on Friday, I used them to fill hard corn taco shells–and they were fantastic! I topped the tacos and stuffing with fresh arugula, cilantro, and a dab of sour cream, along with the avocado sauce.

Day 221-222: Friday and Saturday, August 9-10, 2013

Friday lunch with an old high school friend that I was recently reunited with through work. Had our friends Kevin and Melissa over for dinner and games–recently we’ve been playing a lot of Dominion with them, but tonight they taught us a new game, Elder Sign–which is really fun! (Definitely on the Christmas wishlist 😉 ). Saturday was more work on the house. Helped the couple moving to NC pack up a bit and said final goodbyes (not that we won’t see them again soon). 😉 Lunch with my folks and sister–my parents were picking up my sister’s boys for a few days at the farm before school started. Then ran some errands and ended the day with having my sister Michelle and her husband Alan over for dinner (with only the new baby girl). We just made simple sandwiches and she brought some potato salad–and we taught them to play Dominion. It was a lot of fun! We should do that more often.

Day 223: Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Sunday not teaching in the children’s ministry for several years. It was kind of weird trying to figure out which Adult Life Application Group we fit best into. We ended up in Marriage Foundations, since we know a lot of the people in that class, and we really enjoyed it. We want to visit a couple more before we make our final decision–though any of them would be really good, I think.

Day 224-228: Monday through Thursday, August 12-15, 2013

Monday was a hugely successful day: got all my data exported and submitted for conversion at work! AND we got the majority of the insulation put up in the new room! Phew! I just have to say…if I “had” to install insulation in a hot room on a hot day, at least I got to do it with my hot husband! 😉

Read a really good article on marriage: God Loves Odd Couples. Marriage isn’t about being “perfectly compatible”…it’s about reflecting Christ. Very encouraging article.

Tuesday, I had my semi-annual dentist appointment, followed by a free birthday cupcake from Chocolate Moose–no, I didn’t tell the dentist where I was headed after my cleaning, and, yes, he did tell me I won a “mouth of the month” award! After work, I went on a long walk with a good friend, Jan. She’s a fantastic young mom of two and even though we aren’t able to get together as much as we’d like, every time we get together is always refreshing and uplifting.

Wednesday night after church, I had two friends over. Great night of fellowship with sisters in Christ who love Jesus, the Gospel and the power of Redemption! Enjoyed precious gifts of conversation, edification, good coffee, and orange cinnamon rolls.

Thursday night was dinner with some more friends, Ben and Ashley, whom we haven’t been able to catch up with in forever. Forgot that the 2 1/2 cups of coffee that I drank at dinner tonight was NOT decaf. Fail.

Day 228: Friday, August 16, 2013

Nothing like James Galway and fresh coffee on a rainy morning! I love classical flute! It’s been far too long since I played. After work, I grabbed a few ingredients and we headed over to our friends Daryl and Adrianne’s house. It was my first attempt at from-scratch banana pudding with meringue topping! I added freshly grated nutmeg and soaked the bananas in a little lime juice before adding them to the pudding with the Nilla wafers. While we made the dessert, the guys watched the grill and practiced their target shooting. It doesn’t get more Southern than this:

photo-20

Day 229-230: Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2013

Progress on the house…windows and door are finally in in the new room! …along with framing, wiring, insulation, and subflooring! Plus new white posts instead of green rails on the front porch! More to come, but excited for the progress so far!

Sunday, we stopped by Panera and Starbucks for breakfast before church (wanted to use my free birthday drink). Caught up with several friends at church. Afterwards, we used some more birthday “freebie” e-coupons (World Market, etc.), then lunch with Bryan and an evening of hanging out…just the two of us! It was kind of a perfect day!

Day 231: Monday, August 19, 2013

Today I turned 32 years old. And the word that comes to mind is…blessed. I had a fantastic birthday! Tim and Debbie took me and Bryan out for lunch today, my friend Tami brought by a cute little flower pot to the office, the sun came out, and Bryan’s taking me out again tomorrow night for a nice dinner…plus lots of phone calls, messages, and emails that made me feel loved and appreciated. So thankful for the family and friends God has brought into our lives. As you can tell if you read the above post, it’s a busy stage of life for us, but it’s so rewarding and fulfilling!

Journey Journal: Days 120-122

Day 120: Tuesday, April 30, 2013

After work, I headed home and Bryan and I made a dinner of omelets and veggies. Then my friend Emily (my cousin’s girlfriend) came over to say her “see-you-later”s before she graduates from college on Friday and moves away. It was a really good chat. I will miss our regular Sunday afternoon chats with my English-major, coffee buddy.

Day 121: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Started the morning with coffee and Gospel conversation with my good friend Diana. Then headed to work for the day. After work, I stopped by Goga and caught up with my friend Leigh! Then I swung through Chik-fil-a for a quick bite before Shepherding Group.

We discussed Pastor Brooks’ Sunday morning sermon “Thirsty for Something More” from John 4. It reminded me of the wonderful, old hymn “Satisfied” (WORDS: Clara T. Williams, MUSIC: Ralph E. Hudson, c. 1875):

“All my life long I had panted
for a drink from some cool spring
that I hoped would quench the burning
of the thirst I felt within.

“Hallelujah! I have found him
whom my soul so long has craved!
Jesus satisfies my longings;
through his blood I now am saved.

“Well of water ever springing,
…my Redeemer is to me.”

I’ve been meditating on this a lot this week. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life: home, family, work, church, ministry, etc. When it comes to the Christian life, it often seems easier to get in a rut of “second hand” knowledge–listening to sermons, discussing Christian books, debating theology, listening to good music, etc. And even though all of these things are good, there will not be true satisfaction until our relationship with Christ is direct and personal–there is a definite need for slowing down, meditating, and building a one-on-one relationship with God. It’s not always easy (especially with the inundation of social media, active social lives, and information overload), but maybe it’s not meant to be easy. This is my prayer–that I will learn to “be still and know” God.

Day 122: Thursday, May 2, 2013

Got a late start this morning, so I stopped by Chik-fil-a for a breakfast burrito on my way to work. Lunch was multi-grain tortilla chips, roasted red pepper hummus, cucumber slices and pepper strips. Busy, long, and productive day at the office–I don’t mind long days when they’re productive like this! Around 5 p.m., I left work briefly for a walk and stopped by Publix to pick up some dinner (since Bryan was going out with the guys tonight). Headed back to work and heated up some Birds Eye Steamfresh Lightly Sauced Rigatoni & Vegetables with Tomato Parmesan Sauce. For $1.18 (50% off at Publix on Wade Hampton this week), it was a perfect dinner! Finished up some work, vacuumed, and headed home around 8:30 p.m.

Journey Journal: Days 7-9

Day 7: Monday, January 7, 2013

Today was another leftovers day, using up the last, lonely produce in the fridge. For breakfast, I had more multi-grain pancakes; lunch was a bbq beef sandwich. Had Ryan and Emily over for dinner, and experimented a bit. I had a bag of red potatoes that I sliced in the food processor with an onion; pan fried them in butter with some garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, we pitted and chopped a package of plums and simmered them in a little butter with the juice of a lime and two lemons, some honey, nutmeg, a little thyme, and a pinch of coarse salt. It turned out very good! At the last minute, I fried up an egg to top the potatoes and chopped up some strips of fresh green pepper. No workout today, unfortunately. Still working on getting to bed earlier so I can workout in the morning.

Day 8: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Multi-grain pancake for breakfast; leftover bbq beef, red potatoes, and plums for lunch; a bowl of vegetarian black bean soup from Panera for dinner. Since we were out of food, we decided to go to Panera for dinner (using a gift card we got at Christmas) and pick up some groceries. No more exercise than walking for about 30 minutes through Target (does that count?).

Day 9: Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Breakfast was half a bagel with a little butter and a banana; dinner was the other half of the bagel; and lunch was plums, a large bunch of celery with some peanut butter, and two more of those multi-grain pancakes. Really busy day at work today–didn’t leave till about 6:25 tonight–but it was a good day. Had some good time reviewing the DFF6 script and searching Scripture for accompanying passages to use for the study guide; passages that stood out to me especially were Psalm 66, Isaiah 43, and Daniel 3. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet my friend to walk tonight, but it turns out my workout buddy forgot her gym clothes too, so it’s okay. I need to make sure I workout tomorrow! Fortunately, I’m still down 2 pounds from my New Year’s Day weigh in.

Holiday Pizza Pizzazz

Tonight’s pizza was an interesting combination of ingredients that turned out to be fabulous! It reminded me of Ina Garten’s Sausage Cranberry Stuffing for her Roasted Turkey Roulade.

I started with our homemade white wheat sourdough crust and prebaked that for 5 minutes at 425F. Then I drizzled the crust with some black raspberry vinaigrette (2 parts organic black raspberry jam, 1 part blueberry red wine vinegar, 1 part organic olive oil – whisk together over low heat until evenly combined).

For the toppings, I used cooked, crumbled sausage along with goat cheese,  caramelized onions, thinly sliced granny smith apples, chopped fresh mushrooms, chopped pecans, dried cranberries and fresh cilantro. Then I baked it for another 8-10 minutes at the same temperature, until the crust was golden and the cheese was just beginning to brown. Wow! I will definitely make this again! It was delicious! The crust was thin and crisp, the vinaigrette, cranberries and apples added a nice, sweet tang that paired beautifully with the creamy goat cheese and fresh nuttiness of the pecans. I think I’m craving another piece just writing this post!

What crazy toppings have you put on your pizza that gave it some pizzazz?!

I Love Summer Produce!

I love packing my lunch for work in the summer time! There are so many fresh produce options that are light and refreshing! Today, I had a black bean and provolone cheese whole wheat wrap loaded with veggies (lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, etc.) along with more carrots and cucumbers on the side, a fresh peach and a jar of watermelon cubes! Yum! The guys at work teased me for photographing my lunch at the office (though they admitted it was a beautiful and healthful lunch).

I didn't have a toothpick to hold the wrap together, so I used a carrot stick.

Then for dinner, I steamed some broccoli and boiled some fresh white corn while Bryan grilled some pepperoni and cheese sandwiches. I added a little bit of thinly sliced Vidalia onion and basil leaves to mine. We are simply in love with Applegate Farms’ Pepperoni right now. It’s hormone and antibiotic free, nitrate free, and the biggest slices of pepperoni you’ve ever seen!

All it's missing is some marinara sauce to dunk the sandwich in!

And I can’t wait to eat everything else in our Milk and Honey Organics basket from this week! Yum!! I assist M&H with some things, and received some apples in addition to the small basket.

The personal watermelon is so adorable! It's the size of a kid's soccer ball! (Confession: yes, I think fruit is cute. There, I've said it.)

Dinner: Moroccan Couscous with Sweet & Spicy Chicken and Honey Glazed Carrots

Believe it or not, this is a 30-minute meal! Everything came together very quickly and each piece took about the same amount of time to cook. The carrots and couscous are low maintenance (cover and cook on low, basically), and then you just have to watch the chicken. Tonight’s dinner came from this week’s meal plan:

I used Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs for the meat and we seasoned it with our favorite Sweet & Spicy Rub, pan-frying in about 1 Tbsp. of butter over medium-low heat (about 20 minutes).

For the couscous, I added chopped frozen spinach and minced garlic to the couscous as it was cooking instead of cooking the spinach separately (only cooks for 10 minutes after it comes to a boil).

For the Honey-Glazed Carrots, I peeled the carrots and left them whole. I added 1 Tbsp. of butter to a large saute pan over low heat. I lined up the carrots across the pan and covered them, letting them steam and become golden brown on one side (about 10 minutes). I rotated them one time, covered again, and let them finish browning on the opposite side. Meanwhile, I melted 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. Raw Mesquite Honey in a small saucepan with 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes (fresh would be even better). I drizzled the honey butter over the carrots after they were plated. So pretty! (This took about 15-20 minutes from start to finish.)

Not pictured: a beautiful salad of romaine, grape tomatoes, green pepper slices, chopped carrots and chunks of feta cheese with a celery seed vinaigrette. (This was left over from last night, so it didn’t add into the prep time for tonight’s dinner, but if you prep your vegetables when they arrive, it makes it a lot easier to pull together quick dinners.)

We had our friends Nate & Leigh over for dinner and finished the evening with French Pressed Vanilla Coconut Coffee and a few games of Dominion. Bryan’s been wanting me to try it for months now. I think we know what we’re going to spend our anniversary gift on this year! This is such a fun game!

His & Hers Quick Weeknight Dinner

Wednesday nights are usually a little hectic for us. Every other week is Shepherding Group (a small community within our church that meets together to care and share in a more intimate setting than corporate worship). The alternate weeks, as often as we can make it, are prayer meetings at church. I usually get home around 5:30pm and we have to be out the door by 6:40pm or so if we want to make sure to get there on time. That doesn’t leave much time for dinner. This week, I got off a little early and we came home and used the majority of our leftover vegetables from our weekly produce basket for a vegetarian quick fix.

His: EarthFare's Roasted Potatoes (yum!), Sauteed Cabbage (butter, salt & pepper), and sauteed medley (broccolini, carrots, green beans, garlic, butter, salt & pepper).

Hers: potatoes and sauteed medley (same as His), and Sauteed Celery (with shallots, garlic, mushroom, butter, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper).

I had half of my plate (and a little of Bryan’s) leftover and boxed it up for lunch today. I combined the celery mixture with the vegetable medley and the flavors melded nicely. Bryan liked his dinner so much that he even said, “That was a really great dinner,” three hours later, on our way home from church! Oh, and, by the way, we were still full and satisfied after church too! Those potatoes definitely stick with you! Yum!

Quick Veggie Dinner While I Study

Sweet Potatoes with All Natural Fig Jam, 1 Small Red Potato with Organic Ketchup, Broccoli, and 1 oz. Farmer's Cheese

Not much time tonight, since I have a Nutrition Test to take tonight by midnight, so I came home, chopped up some potatoes, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with seasoned salt, and threw them in the oven at 450F for 45 minutes. When I pulled them out, I steamed the broccoli quickly and grabbed a chunk of cheese. Yum! And I got some studying in while it baked!

Grilling Out and Cucumbers!

We decided to grill out for dinner tonight (after our long walk). We have a good size grill, and it’s hardly worth pulling out for only 2 people. So, when we grill, we grill a bunch of stuff for the week. Bryan did his traditional grilled chicken – salt, pepper, garlic powder rub, then he sprays it with this incredible spray while it’s grilling (1 part salt water, 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part lemon juice). We store the spray in a bottle in the fridge and use it on chicken and pork all the time! It’s amazing!

Dinner is Served!

Then I had some skinless, boneless chicken thighs and I rubbed them with this amazing rub by the Neely’s on Food Network.

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne, so I used chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

This was absolutely amazing!!

I made some whole wheat mac n cheese and warmed up leftover green beans for Bryan. Meanwhile, I had a TON of leftover cucumbers from the market a few weeks back that needed to be used before they went bad, so I made two versions of cucumber salad.

The first was cucumber, onion, rice vinegar, sugar, and grated ginger.

The second was cucumber, onion, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, salt, pepper, and dill.

Both were quite good. The rice vinegar one was sweet. And the yogurt one was tangy. They complemented each other quite well.