Coming Soon

The tea kettle just went off…so be patient with me while I get up to hunt for a tea bag to immerse into the hot water.  Okay – I’m back and my Caramel Chai Herbal Tea is seeping.  

9-27-14 Tea and Writing

It is early and the house is quiet.  I smell a rainy scent left over from Saturday’ storm and hear the hum of the refrigerator.  Crazy the amount of rain and wind we received.  Our lantana look like they have been beaten with a stick but it’s dark right now as I sit at my kitchen table and I can’t see if they are still slumped over or they have rested and are erect once again.  Sometimes we just need to wait and see.

I thought it would be fun to share a few snapshots of the past few weeks and what my hopes are to share with you in the future.

A few weeks ago my husband and I headed to Oceanside, CA  for vacation and we rode a train, took long walks on the beach, watched the sunset, went to a movie, and ate amazing  meals.  (More pictures to come) We didn’t get the weather we had hoped for – it was hot and our rental condo had no air-conditioning  but life is seldom perfect and we were thankful it worked out so we could go. 

One of salads I ate out was a Chopped Chicken Cashew Salad with a soy reduction and a miso vinaigrette which of course, I came home inspired and started trying to recreate.  I needed to learn how to may a soy reduction and a dressing which incorporates miso paste.  I’ve been successful and will be sharing how to make this soon.  First you’ll see a recipe for the soy reduction, then the miso vinaigrette and finally the salad.  The first two can be done ahead and this way the recipe won’t seem overwhelming.  

Chopped Cashew Chicken Salad - K. Strauss

The picture of the sky was taken while driving home – so pretty.

Oceanside 2014 - driving home (Maricopa)

I was asked this week how to make “homemade” iced tea.  Sometimes we are asked things that we’ve been doing so long we don’t even think about writing directions down for. So a short blog post will be coming soon.  

Green Tea3

Lastly I was asked to answer a few questions regarding my faith walk with Jesus over at Pouring Down Like Rain this past week.  Here is a bit of the post – the link to continue reading is listed at the bottom.

Was God always present in your life? Was it consistent?  Yes – I grew up in a Christian home and Jesus was introduced to me as a child. But I believe there is a time when your belief in God has to become personal and embraced as your own.

At what age did you really understand and start to have a personal relationship with Him?  I was 9 years old. My mom was very ill, my dad was working to provide for our family and I had 3 little brothers.  I spent a Friday night at my grandmother’s house.  This was great fun because she was an amazing cook and let me choose what was for dinner.  Pinto Beans and Cornbread – yum!  She then asked if I wanted to stay another night. I had to think about this because this meant going to church with grandma the next morning but choosing another dinner won out.  She surprised me when she said after dinner to go get cleaned up; we were going to church for a Saturday Special.   I thought “Church tonight too?”  Soon we were sitting in a church pew listening to a men’s quartet.  To this day – I don’t remember the name of their group; but I can tell you the words of a song they sang that changed me “Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to Him this morning.  Don’t try to tell me He’s not alive He lives within my heart.  His words are always by my side.  He brightens up my day.  Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to him today.”   I walked down the center aisle and accepted Jesus into my heart that night and knew I would never be alone.

Was God present in your parent’s life?  Yes

Do you attend church? Is this where you feel closest to God?  Yes – we float a bit between churches and sometimes when needed we are ministered to at home. But there are times when I am in the woods or sitting quietly by the ocean that my heart is quieted and I listen better.  I think being in His creation is a glimpse of His power.  I am awed by it.

Have you ever had a God moment or felt/seen the presence of God?  Yes – several times but this is the one making me smile as I write. Years ago I was a stay-at-home mom and my heart yearned to help make our house a home by doing some decorating.  Monetarily I didn’t have much to work with.  I took a piece of lined binder paper and drew 3 columns listing my heart desires, what I thought it would cost and then I left the 3rd column blank.  I gave this list to God – asked him to brainstorm and go shopping with me.  I would then place the actual cost in the column when the desire had been met.  One example:  New slip covers for outside furniture – Waverly fabric – I needed 10 yards (Regularly $26.00/yard – I received for $1.08/yard)  In a years time – everything on my list was complete with the monies I had to work with.

  To continue reading – please click HERE

Hoping you have a great week.  

 

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Chicken k-Bobs

One of my favorite dinners – grilled marinated chicken k-bobs and vegetables.

Chicken K-Bobs - grilled skewers

Chicken K-Bobs
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  3. Juice of one fresh lime
  4. 1/2 tsp chili powder
  5. 1/2 tsp cumin
  6. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  7. 1 tsp garlic powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1/2 tsp pepper
  10. 1 large onion, chopped into thick pieces
  11. 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  12. 10 mushrooms, stem removed (leave whole)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl or canning jar mix together first 9 ingredients.
  2. Place chicken in shallow pan and pour marinade on top of. Spoon sauce over top to coat.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator 1-4 hours.
  4. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  5. 3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Thread the chicken onto the skewers, alternating with chopped onion pieces. Discard the marinade.
  6. 4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the skewers for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.
Tips
  1. Cut meats and veggies to a uniform size: 1 ½ inches works well.
  2. Group foods with similar cooking times.
Adapted from Tosca Reno
Adapted from Tosca Reno
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
K-Bobs1
Cut chicken in cubes and mix up marinade. A canning jar makes it easy to blend marinade ingredients.

K-Bobs2
Pour marinade over chicken.

K-Bobs3
Skewer chicken onto soaked bamboo sticks

Note – Double your chicken and marinade. Combine 1/2 of the chicken and marinade into a Ziplock bag. Place in the freezer. When ready to use – thaw in the refrigerator and skewer for grill.

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Cola Lime Refresher

It’s the middle of September and still H. O. T. here in Arizona.  I’m always looking for new ways to drink more water.  This one has the fun of bubbles, a taste of cola and coconut plus the freshness of lime.  

Cola-Lime Drink

Cola Lime Refresher
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Prep Time
3 min
Prep Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can of La Croix Coconut Water
  2. 10 drops of liquid cola stevia or to taste (just remember too much stevia will taste bitter)
  3. 1 wedge of lime
  4. 1/2 slice of lime to garnish
  5. Ice Cubes
Instructions
  1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  2. Place 10 drops of stevia in glass.
  3. Pour can of La Croix Coconut Water in
  4. Squeeze the lime wedge into water.
  5. Stir
  6. Add lime slice and straw. Enjoy!
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
Over 70% of our body is composed of water so it makes sense that a dehydrated body isn’t going to be happy. Water and the function of the brain are very connected and not drinking enough can cause problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger and depression.

Let’s be intentional with our water intake – we might just feel a whole lot better.

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