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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A Week In Review – 5/17/14

Funny how sometimes the first time we see something, someone or try a new thing, it doesn’t make much of an impression.  In fact we may feel beauty can’t be found.  But I received flowers for Mother’s Day which are a lovely lesson that we should not easily toss something that hasn’t reached it’s full potential.   

MD 2014 - unopened

Let me set the stage – it’s about 3:00 p.m. the Saturday before Mother’s Day and my doorbell rings.  By the time I get to the door I can hear a truck’s engine moving down the road and see that someone (my son and girlfriend) has sent me flowers.  I open the overheated  long, rectangular box on my kitchen table and am not surprised to see a wilted looking bundle of stalks that are tightly tied.   My first thought is “What a shame – the heat has done a number on these.” but then I see a note tucked next to the gift – “Give your flowers several hours in water and watch them bloom.”  Truly I wasn’t at all sure water and a few hours could do anything but there was something about that message – It’s a 4-letter word – H O P E.  You see on that day I could relate to how these flowers looked because I was in a bit of a “wilt” myself.  So I cut 2 inches off the stems as instructed and into the vase of water they went.  I wish I had taken a picture of them at this stage – maybe you can just trust me that they were pretty sad.

The picture above was taken about 4 hours later and they are looking about 75% better than they did.  Water is amazing in the way it can take something tired and start breathing life back in.  I think this is why Jesus says he is the living water.

MD 2014 - Opened

But day after day a miracle took place – the leaves became greens and the weathered looking blooms began to open into glorious beauty.  After a week the blooms began to droop and I began to think my enjoyment was coming to a close.   Then my genius husband placed fresh water in the vase and they were as good as new. 

Pipe - Monterey

Picture taken in Monterey, California

I’ve been doing some reading this week – The first book is, Calm my Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow   I’ve read this book many times  and continue to glean nuggets I want to practice in my life.  The other book is one that was recommended after I attended a course at work The Resilience Factor by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte and I’m learning a lot from that also.  Resilience is a word we don’t hear that often – we hear strength, courage, buck up buttercup (well maybe most of you don’t hear that one) but you get the picture but resilience is “reaching out” in both hard times and new adventures.  

Chocolate Coconut Smoothie

If you missed the posted recipe this week, here it is one more time.  Chocolate Coconut Protein Smoothie  In this link I’ve listed my favorite blender and protein powder choices. 

Cookie Add Ins

This idea was inspired by ice cream and yogurt stores and even salad bars that allow you to “have it your way.”  When you want an assortment of cookies but don’t want to be in the kitchen all day – try this Cookie Tip.  Start with a chocolate chip cookie batter  but don’t add the chocolate chips in yet. Divide batter into thirds and mix in different combinations of chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, dark, white, mint and butterscotch), shredded coconuts, chopped nuts,  cut up candy bars (snickers, milky way, etc)  Bake and soon you’ll have a nice variety of cookies with just one batch of dough.  I use my scraper/chopper for so many tasks in the kitchen.

saying - gratitude

I hope you had a good week. We are excitedly waiting the arrival of our sweet princess granddaughter.  It’s my hope that next week I’ll be able to share what I have packed in my Grandma Hospital Bag – hey mamas of mamas need to be prepared when that happy call comes (especially if I’m at work and in a dress). I’d love you to share something from your week in the comment area.

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A Week In Review – 5/10/14

Here is a glimpse into my week…

Mother's Day 2014 - Essence Bakery
This year I took my mom, daughter (and my granddaughter who we will meet in a couple of weeks) to a local French bakery on Friday to celebrate Mother’s Day.  We feasted on Chicken Pot Pie, Quiche Lorraine, croissants and dessert treats.  We left with happy tummies.  The mini fruit tart was my favorite.

Macaroons - Baking A Moment
Here is where I found my inspiration for my French themed Mother’s Day Celebration..One night I was taking a few minutes to check out new blogs and ran across Allie at Baking A Moment. I love the title of her blog because I believe food helps create special moments and when I looked at her picture I almost felt like I could reach in and help myself to one of the macaroons.

Looking Up
There is something about laying on the grass with the lens of the camera pointing upward. There are so many things to take notice of- the shapes and colors of the leaves are all so different just like each of us.  The ash tree truck and branches reach toward the sunshine and the sky is full of possibilities.

Contigo Water Bottle
This is my favorite new product – Contigo Water Bottle.  The top opens and closes with one finger.  It fits nicely in my car and in the gym machine water holders.  The design of the holder is great when your hands are full – two fingers is all you need.  On Saturday I celebrated Mother’s Day with my son and girlfriend.  We went to a fitness class (I filled up my water bottle twice) and although I modified most of the moves I burned 691 calories in an hour.  

What Kind of Mom - Pinterest
I came across some writing I had done back in the late 90’s and decided to start posting on the blog.  In case you missed – You can Click Here

Saying - I don't want to brag
A little something funny..

I’d love for you to share something that happened in your week.

 

 

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