Harvest Stew with Smoked Sausage, and the Sustaining Power of Compassion

Compassion can be as therapeutic, warming, and satisfying to the soul as a steaming, generous bowl of Harvest Stew is for the body, and just as necessary for one’s best health and well being. There are times when I look around at the state of things, at the way we behave toward one another, at the way we treat each other, at the unkindness, the jealousy, the hurt, the vengeance, the lack of care, and outright harm that we perpetrate upon one another, and I struggle to feel compassion. Not an easy thing to admit, frankly, but it’s true ....more

Snickers Brownie Bars, and the Best Reason of All to Get into My Kitchen

Getting into one’s kitchen to whip up something tasty can be fun and rewarding anytime; but when you get in there and prepare something specifically to comfort someone you love and hold dear, something like these rich Snickers Brownie Bars, then there’s nothing better! For a momma, there is no better feeling in the world than to see her child, young or grown, enjoy a meal or dessert that she’s prepared with complete abandon and gusto. Am I right, Mommas? ...more

Thai Chicken Salad Wonton Cups, and Taking Those Last Little Bites out of Summer

As the summer season quickly comes to a close, taking a couple of bites out of the remaining days of it with these Thai Chicken Salad Wonton Cups is a cool and light way to go. To tell you that I am completely “over” the heat of the long, summer season would be an understatement. Though it is not yet officially fall for a few more days, my eyes are already eagerly and hungrily searching out the evening skies for evidence of the pinkish-purple, orange, and golden hues that only the fall season can produce; and I’m finding myself willing the summer to opt for a shortened stay this year, and for the fall and its gentle and beautiful mildness to flow in just a little early, if it’d be willing to ....more

Penne Pomodoro, and Discovering the Fullness of Flavor in Something Simple

Sometimes the most uncomplicated and natural things, like this Penne Pomodoro, have the most complex flavor to them, and remind us that it’s the simple things in life that often offer the most pleasure. At heart, I’m a very simple gal. I tend to favor things of a natural nature, those things that are allowed to exude their uncomplicated inner beauty, and that radiate a confidence that says, “what you see is what you get, and that’s good enough!” I love the scent of a freshly-plucked stem of lavender; I love the brightness and zip that a little squeeze of lemon can bring to a cup of tea in the afternoon; I love the cooler breeze in the early evening in late summer; and I love an easy conversation between myself and my husband that contains simple honesty, and unadulterated sharing that comes straight from the heart ....more

Smokey Chicken Flatbread, and the Pleasant Surprise of Getting Something Extra

A smokey chicken flatbread is not only utterly delicious for the tastebuds, but it’s utterly good for the body, as well; it’s like getting a little something extra, something “above and beyond” what you expected, which is truly a welcomed thing these days. These days, it seems quite rare for us to get more than we bargain for, in a good way. So much of the time, it seems that things seldom get done right the first time, or we get less than what we thought we would get in terms of the quality of something, or an experience ....more

Strawberry Lemon Cream Tartlets, and Existing in That Delicious Tension between Sweet and Sour

Finding truth in the paradoxes in life can be an awakening experience for the spirit, just as experiencing both the sweet and the sour in these strawberry lemon cream tartlets can be invigorating for the tastebuds. We, human beings, seem to be most comfortable mingling with those things that are clearly defined and fit neatly into a very specific category or a beautifully wrapped box. We tend to be that way when it comes to our politics, our religion, and our social beliefs, and feel most confident when we choose one perspective or view point over another because then we suddenly become a part of an already existing group which we can now take comfort in knowing shares our view ....more

Grilled Steak Kebabs, with a Little Something Extra Drizzled on Top

When we take a chance and share what is there on the inside of us with others, we often find that our connection to one another grows stronger, and that’s the wonderful bonus—kind of like a vibrant and zingy chimichurri sauce to drizzle over top of grilled steak kebabs, makes things that much more delicious. Sharing something personal and “from the inside” with someone else is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Divulging personal thoughts, feelings, viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences can be a bit daunting, especially in our time when people seem to have strong opinions, and even have the advantage of opining rather anonymously (and negatively) via a few strokes of their keyboard/pad ....more

Mozzarella Garlic Toast with Fresh Tomato, and Listening to the Breeze as It Whispers

The sound of our soul is typically quiet and soft; but if we listen intently, it will guide us to nurture ourselves spiritually, for our inner health, and even physically, in the way of healthy and nourishing food such as this mozzarella garlic toast with fresh tomato. That still small voice is a magnificent little thing that we’ve all been blessed with that is there to help guide and direct us on our path during this physical existence. It is quiet yet confident, and requires us to be good listeners with open ears and willing hearts because if we’re not careful, it can easily be missed or ignored ....more

Hawaiian Coconut Chicken, and Finding Family in Unexpected Places

We often find the unexpected flavors of both sweet and savory in foods such as Hawaiian Coconut Chicken, and it pleasantly surprises us. And it’s equally as pleasantly surprising to find family and connection in places where we never considered we would, as well. For those of you who follow our blog, you most likely know that the big “story”, the big change in our lives, is our young son, our only child, leaving the nest to go to boot camp (3 months!) to become a United States Marine ....more

Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, and the Fun in Doing Things a Bit Different

Sure, many of us have enjoyed mushrooms as a delicious topping on our pizza; but how about stuffing some mushrooms with pizza instead, with these Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms? I’m one of those people who really enjoys the little eccentricities in life, and those things that are presented in a slightly different way. I love peoples’s quirks; I love sort of strange art, contemplative photography, and unconventional movies; I love music that has a bit of an edge, and slightly bitter and strong drinks; and I love observing those things that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn’t go together, but somehow brilliantly do ....more