Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Garlic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

So, I've been trying a lot of different healthy recipes lately, 
and this one is definitely tasty!

 Scott recently came home from a training and I had been wanting to try this cauliflower alfredo sauce, so we made it into a date night of experimenting. We took a recipe and then tweaked it to become our own. Here is our recipe:

  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (to add the spicy factor)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup milk (more to taste)
  • Parmesan cheese (however much you want)
  • Optional Chicken and Veggies

GarlicSauté the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.

Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.

Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sautéed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, parsley, Cayenne pepper, onion powder, Parmesan cheese, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce.

We then put the puree, with the chicken and/or veggies, in the nonstick skillet over medium heat before serving over noodles.  

Leftovers: If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.

We thought that it might have a gritty texture and it definitely didn't! You can also make this and use it as pizza sauce. We will be making that soon as well!!! 

ENJOY! And let me know how you like it:)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, Y U M.

Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

I recently within the past couple of years decided that I really, really like black bean burgers. 
Except when I'm actually craving a hamburger--different textures.
Anyways, I've been telling Scott for a while now that I was going to find a recipe that we would like.


I'll just have to make them again when he gets back.
But I won't complain. 

Four burgers:
* 1 (14.5 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 Tbs. minced white onion
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup chopped almonds
* 1/2 cup corn (can use frozen corn, thawed)
* 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
* 4 Tbs. jarred chipotle spread 
(3 Tbs. for mixture, 1 Tbs. for buns)
* 1 egg
* 4 sliced pepper jack cheese
* 4 onion buns, split and lightly toasted
* mixed greens
* sliced avocado or guacamole
* coarse salt, to taste

{Preheat oven to 425}
In a large bowl, add the beans and lightly mash with a fork. Add the onions, garlic, almonds, corn, cilantro, 2 Tbs. chipotle spread, egg and a small pinch of coarse salt. 
Mix to combine.

Using your hands, equally form the mixture into 4 patties. 
Arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully flip, add the cheese and bake for 8 to 10 more.

Spread the remaining chipotle spread on the bottom of each toasted bun and serve with greens and avocado slices. 
Or I just used the fresh guacamole that I made yesterday. 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"I dare you..."

I dare you...

While the Hubs has been gone on another mini deployment, 
Neflix has become a dear friend. 
A friend that I can cuddle up with, eat dinner or too much dessert with, 
and frankly, let's me shed my tears.

Well tonight I stumbled across a movie called Ragamuffin.
SERIOUSLY one of the best movies I've ever watched.
It's about the life of Rich Mullins
An American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter.
He didn't try to be liked by everyone, he just wanted to shout the truth to all those who were listening.
 Whether you liked the way he delivered it or not, he was going to tell you.

I had no idea that he wrote two of my favorite songs:

And my new favorite song of his:
Especially during those lonely nights where I only wish Scott could be home to hold me tight as we fall asleep next to each other. 
Or when I miss my family so much it hurts.
Or when I would rather be across the world on a mission trip.
"So hold me Jesus, 'cause I'm shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
Won't You be my Prince of Peace."

So, about that dare...
I especially loved a part in the movie where the pastor made me cry. A much needed, heart-wrenching cry for my God. 
One that just makes sense and doesn't make sense at all.
It was all about the depth of God's love for me.
For US, all of us.
A message that my broken, sinful, battered heart needed more than I needed the next breath of air. 

Brennan Manning said:
"The Lord Jesus is going to ask each of us one question and only one question: Do you believe that I loved you? That I desired you? That I waited for you day after day? That I longed to hear the sound of your voice?
The real believers there will answer, “Yes, Jesus. I believed in your love and I tried to shape my life as a response to it. But many of us who are so faithful in our ministry, in our practice, in our church going are going to have to reply, “Well frankly, no sir. I mean, I never really believed it. I mean, I heard alot of wonderful sermons and teachings about it. In fact I gave quite a few myself. But I always knew that that was just a way of speaking; a kindly lie, some Christian’s pious pat on the back to cheer me on. And there’s the difference between the real believers and the nominal Christians that are found in our churches across the land. No one can measure like a believer the depth and the intensity of God’s love. But at the same time, no one can measure like a believer the effectiveness of our gloom, pessimism, low self-esteem, self-hatred and despair that block God’s way to us. Do you see why it is so important to lay hold of this basic truth of our faith? Because you’re only going to be as big as your own concept of God.
Do you remember the famous line of the French philosopher, Blaise Pascal? “God made man in his own image, and man returned the compliment”? We often make God in our own image, and He winds up to be as fussy, rude, narrow minded, legalistic, judgemental, unforgiving, unloving as we are.
In the past couple of three years I have preached the gospel to the financial community in Wallstreet, New York City, the airmen and women of the air force academy in Colorado Springs, a thousand positions in Nairobi. I’ve been in churches in Bangor, Maine, Miami, Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle, San Diego. And honest, the god of so many Christians I meet is a god who is too small for me. Because he is not the God of the Word, he is not the God revealed by it in Jesus Christ who this moment comes right to your seat and says, “I have a word for you. I know your whole life story. I know every skeleton in your closet. I know every moment of sin, shame, dishonesty and degraded love that has darkened your past. Right now I know your shallow faith, your feeble prayer life, your inconsistent discipleship. And my word is this: I dare you to trust that I love you just as you are, and not as you should be.
 Because you’re never going to be as you should be.” 

So, friends, I am passing on the dare.
I dare you to trust that Jesus loves you just as you are
and not as you should be. 
And then...be radically changed because of it!

It only gets better with age.

One reoccurring lesson that I keep learning from my 
Grandma&Bompa is this:

It only gets better with age. 

The week my grandparents visited was completely amazing 
and worth a million lasting memories---
a couples trip that Scott and I will never forget. 
One week, five different cities.
 We learned so much about my Grandpa and Grandma, 
from stories told and just by observation. 
They are the most kind, generous, humble, and loving couple I know. 
Making friends and lasting impressions wherever they go.

Thank you Bompa&Grandma for gracing us with your presence and filling our home and hearts with your love! 
Thank you for constantly spoiling my baby dog. 
Thank you for being such a great example to Scott and I! 
Thank you for exploring new places with us 
and laughing hysterically. 
Thank you for just being so great! 

Tryon Palace. New Bern.
Feeding the goats at Mike's Farm.
Showing Bompa the tractor graveyard.

Horse carriage tour.

We all LOVE desserts way too much.

"Best shrimp&grits."

They had to document this moment when I ordered sea food for dinner.
The gorgeous Boone Hall Plantation.

This is the lake where Allie&Noah jump in!

And this is where Ryan Reynolds&Blake Lively were married.
This is where Noah eats dinner with Allie's family in their backyard.

The Angle Tree.

My dream home!!!
Margaritaville. Myrtle Beach.

They love the beach.

There you have it,
It only gets better with age.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I vowed...

I vowed to love you through the best of times 
the worst of times...

On our drive home from Maryland in April I felt as if I needed to write all my emotions down...

Yesterday I truly understood more of what living out our marriage vows mean and the effect of Genesis 2:24, "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." When Scott is broken, I'm broken. 

This week has definitely been the hardest week of our lives, but this, this image of my strong Husband in his dress whites completely heartbroken, saluting his best friend completely shattered my heart and took my breath away. I always knew that this part of being a military wife would someday come, but I've never felt more helpless than that patriotic moment when I had to stand on the sidelines watching him say goodbye to a man he considered more than a brother. And then watching sixty other men in uniform do the exact same thing, over and over again. I've also never felt so proud. 

It's not about the quantity of life, but about the quality. And being around so many people who were touched by Jacob was unexplainable. Jacob's family lost their son and brother, but gained a new family. So many new sons and daughters that will always be there for them. 

Rest easy, Jacob. Your memory will live forever through the hearts of so many, the smile my Husband shows me daily, the stories I will always be happy to hear the millionth time, our future children as they hear their Daddy explain why they should be happy every day because his best friend taught him that. Through the silly faces Scott tries to do that you mastered, through the letters your dad will start sending us, and the memorial that your closest friends will always wear on their wrists. 

We love you and will be seeing you again!
Rest easy, Jacob.

Again, thank you everyone for the prayers during this time&the continued prayers. We very much appreciate each and every one of you!

When we see you again...

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