30 July 2013

flower potluck | summer 2013

 when i first saw the idea for a flower potluck* in the spring issue of kinfolk,
 it immediately went on my spring bucket list.
 but then life got craaaazy and here we are at the end of july! 
so glad these ladies were able to join me in celebrating life,
 summer and the beauty of God's creation!

hors d'oeuvres :
> crostini w/ mascarpone & pesto
> cantaloupe, mozzarella & prosciutto skewers
> savory herb biscuits
> grilled peaches

> berry cheesecake tart

{*flower potluck > each person brings a vase to trade +
several stems of their favorite flower.
then everyone assembles a bouquet to take home}

29 July 2013

roasted beets w/ mascarpone,pistachios,prosciutto & balsamic

i am SO excited to share this little recipe with you!!
beets can be an iffy thing. you love them or you don't.
 "they bleed a gorgeous color", i always thought... 
"but other than that, aren't they just similar to turnips?" 
and turnips always make me think of molly, the american girl doll, and how she had to sit and eat
 lukewarm mashed turnips as part of her sacrifice for the war effort. 
i adored molly when i was little and always felt sorry that she had to eat those turnips!
i digress!

prior to this year, the only way i had ever had beets was pickled (still haven't found a kind i like) or in
 russian borscht... a soup that was actually yummy (when served with dollops of sour cream of course!).
then while in chicago with my aunt this spring for our birthdays, we ordered roasted beets and i fell in love! 
they were chunked and served with pistachios and goat cheese and it was
 the first time i'd ever experienced that yummy combination! 
i loved them so much that i couldn't help but order them again
 while in seattle a month later.
 this time they were sliced, served on a bed of arugula and topped
 with mascarpone, pistachios and balsamic vinegar. 
and of course i loved this version even more! 

when i finally got around to making the dish at home, 
i opted for mascarpone cheese over goat cheese because it was 
less expensive and then tossed on a little toasted prosciutto for added flavor and texture. 
i'm all about layered flavors & textures and i think
 that's one of the reasons why i love this dish so much! 
you have the slightly sweet beets, crunchy nuts, smooth cheese,
 crispy meat & salty balsamic all coming together in a beautiful arrangement!

so without further ado, i present >> roasted beets
(keep scrolling for recipe)
> preheat your oven to 400
>scrub your beets clean and then lay on a sheet of foil
> drizzle olive oil over the beets and fold the ends of foil together to make a little pocket
> lay pocket on a cookie sheet & roast for 45 minutes to an hour,
 or until beets are very tender when prodded with a fork
 (turn foil pocket over half way through)
>chop a handful of pistachios then set aside
>when beets are finished roasting, pull them from the oven and let them set 
until they are cool enough to handle
>while beets are cooling, toss a few strips of prosciutto and a teaspoon of olive oil together 
on medium heat. set aside when crispy
>rinse beets under the tap, peel of the outer skin & slice off the ends
>slice or chunk the beets and lay them on your plates
>top with dollops of mascarpone then sprinkle with pistachios & prosciutto
>drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve!
(p.s. i use the balsamic generously to really bring out the flavor in each bite! this time
 i used a fig infused balsamic that was really yummy!) 

24 July 2013

He is faithful.

this has been such a whirlwind summer of pouring into people that i've not taken enough time for me to spend with Jesus-- being refreshed & strengthened in Him.

there. i said it.

it hurts to admit that... because i like to adopt this mentality that i can sustain this kind of lifestyle on my own. but that's so, so prideful and the Lord has to break me of it over and over again. mostly by bringing me to the end of myself so that i fall prostrate at His feet.

amidst a constant flow of travel, work & serving, i have spent time with the Lord & sought to do everything through his strength & will... but it's always been on the go; bits here & there.  i have not spent long amounts of time with Him or allowed people to pour into me. and that is so important. Jesus often refreshes/strengthens us by using other people just as much as He uses communion with Him to accomplish that.

the seedlings of truth and life that He is continually planting in my soul need watered and cared for just as much as He is using me to help care for the seedlings in the lives around me. (i've also been so convicted lately about how He doesn't NEED any of us but yet He still chooses to use us. but that's for a whole other post:))

earlier, after a long day of pouring into people, working & planning, i began my drive home and thought how nice it would be to go to a bible study or worship time that i *wasn't* helping to lead, just to spend time worshipping Jesus and fellowshipping. and it dawned on me that the bible study i went to with my brother before he moved was meeting tonight and after almost two months of being invited back and not being able to make it, i was actually going to get home in time to go! just as i was getting excited about this, i get a call saying i need to watch the chillens while mama & daddy go to their bible study.
 it felt like someone punctured my inner tube and i slowly deflated. here i was, after 2 months of hit & miss church attendance (due to travel) and snatches of fellowship + time with the Lord but very little worship time with other believers and my opportunity to go got pulled out from under me.
i really struggled with that the rest of the drive home. "Lord! i just wanted to spend time worshipping you and now you ask me to serve again! i'm tired, Lord! if i have to take care of chillens again today, i'm likely to be irritable and that won't help anything. why God? why?"
 and then i was reminded that this was exactly what i had been praying for the night before. to learn to serve & love my family well in the little time each week that i am with them. funny how we ask God for things and then whine & fuss when He gives them to us.
 and i was also reminded of how faithfully He has brought people into my life each week to encourage my soul & spend time in prayer & praise even though i haven't had many opportunities to take part in a time of complete worship. He IS caring for me!

so here i am. one full game of slightly turbulent kick ball behind me and 5 showered chillens tucked in bed, and it dawns on me that it's been such a long time since i've searched out some good worship music... and why can't i just sit here and have a worship service? me and God.

these are some of my all time favorite verses that always encourage my heart to PRESS ON.
"come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us. He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn: He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." hosea 6:1,3

even in my weakness, HE is faithful. i must boast in the Lord!

oh and that new worship playlist? set it on shuffle :)