Eat This: Guac that Rocks

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I’m watching The Chew right now and they are doing a Tex-Mex party show with a vignette revolving the avocado. I have not always been an avocado fan. There was a time when I wouldn’t eat it. I don’t know when that changed, but believe me, my husband knows there are three favorite foods in my brain:

Delicious baked gooey macaroni and cheese (blue box will do in a pinch, but I really want the gooey stuff).

A delicious steak. This means the freshest piece of meat, cooked medium, and preferably cooked either by my husband (in house) or my brother (on the grill).

And guacamole. Not fancy quac – 5 in gredient guac. That’s all you need to make the perfect guacamole.

Bring in one of the best food blogs around – Jenna at EatLiveRun and the Super Bowl. Husband and I chose to watch the game at home this year and then I forgot about the time change and it was a boring game. The best part of the whole evening was the guacamole.

What you need:
perfectly ripe avocados. These are hard to find. Wal-Mart always lets me down even though they are cheap. Mostly I find them at Kroger or Whole Foods. If you are going to use them ASAP – then you want them with a slight give to them. Just pushable. If you are going to use them tomorrow = then buy them firm. You do not want them mushy. They will be brown. Listen…do NOT buy them MUSHY!
Kosher or Sea Salt. Don’t use the table salt. How long has your table salt been on your table. Salt loses its flavor. Use kosher salt or sea salt. It brings out the amazing buttery goodness of the avocado.
Limes. Don’t buy the lime juice in a bottle. Just go buy little limes that have juice in them. You can have liven your finished product up with some of the lime zest. You don’t get that from a bottle.
Cilantro. Bright fresh green cilantro. A little goes a long way. You can always add more.
Red Onion.  Same with the cilantro – you don’t want a lot. You want the main star to be the avocado, not the red onion.

Buttercream Cookies and Ministering to Widows

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Buttercream cookies

Food is such a way to minister to people.  Especially the lonely.

The widows.  The lonely.  The Shut-ins.  How do we interact with these people on a regular basis?  I have to admit I fail at this miserably – but I desire to get better at it.  One way we did this as a family recently is by taking cookies to some widows on Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to make some cookies and then deliver them.  I knew the boys would bring a smile to their faces (I was right on that account) and cookies are always delicious!

I read some invaluable posts by my friend Brian Croft over at Practical Shepherding.  I won’t re-hash them here, but encourage you to go read these:

How to minister to widows when a holiday is approaching?

How do you minister to widows when a family holiday is coming up?

As a SAHM, how can we minister to widows?

During the Christmas season and winter, how do I shepherd widows?

There are more at his site – just go search widows and you will get many posts to read and implement.  Brian and his wife, Cara, have years of experience living this out – not just writing down ideas.

One way that I’m going to be doing this is by writing letters.  I’ve asked my husband to get a list of the widows in the church and each week I want to write to one widow, pray for her by name, and if the time allows, visit her with my children and husband.  Visiting widows is very out of my comfort zone.  Aging is something that is hard and makes us examine our own mortality and the end of our lives.  It is also hard to know how long to stay, what to say, how to sit there with them if they aren’t coherent, or if they are really sick.  But, Jesus said to go to the sick and minister to the widows.  And I also know from years of experience – ministry is not easy.  But, still needs to be done.

Buttercream Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Delicious cake like cookie with buttercream frosting
  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ stick of unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup whole milk with 1 tsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ⅓ tsp kosher salt
  • Frosting;
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • milk or heavy cream to your consistency likeness
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Cream wet ingredients.
  3. Spoon onto greased baking sheet to make BIG cookies (should get 8)
  4. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes or until done.
  5. Let cool
  6. Make buttercream. Pipe unto cookies.
Here is a simple cookie recipe that you can use as you minister to widows in your church.  A plate of cookies is always good.  If for some reason they can’t eat them, they most likely have caretakers and they will enjoy them!

How do you care for the widows in your church or community?  Enjoy the cookies!

Eat This: Broccoli, Cheddar & Bacon Quiche

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Broccoli Cheese and Bacon Quiche

Love having women over to live life with me, eat girly food, and be creative. This was the scene at our dining room table the weekend of Thanksgiving.  I had some sweet girlfriends over to celebrate creativity and enjoy getting to know one another.

With any girls’ brunch, I think some egg dish is customary, right?  Well, as I am cooking through Jenna’s blog, I came across this one.  My learned lesson from this: read the instructions.  I figured eggs cook fast, so it can only take about 30 minutes, right?  Wrong.  The quiche didn’t get done for an hour and I would have known that had I read the directions.  But, during the waiting time, we stood around in the kitchen and talked.  So, it was worth the wait – when we all dug in and enjoyed the savory goodness for breakfast.

Broccoli, Cheddar & Bacon Quiche
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: Eggs
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Delicious easy egg quiche perfect for a weekend brunch.
  • 1 Pillsbury pie crust
  • 6 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 large head broccoli, use the florets
  • 3 eggs, I used Great Day Farm eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Press your pie crust into a pie pan. Set aside.
  3. Cook broccoli just until done - about 4 minutes.
  4. In a pourable dish, mix your milk, cheese, eggs, bacon, and seasonings.
  5. Place cooked, cooled and drained broccoli in the bottom of your pie.
  6. Pour your egg liquid over the top.
  7. Bake until set, about an hour.
  8. Take a pretty picture.
  9. Eat.
Note: You can really use any cheese you want to in this, I suppose.  I used Monterey Jack.  Sharp Cheddar would also be delicious!

Eat This: broccoli cheddar chowder (ELR14)

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Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Who doesn’t like something warm on a cold night?  Give me anything really that I can eat with a spoon – in a bowl – and I’d be happy, curled up on the couch, yoga pants on, slippers enveloping my feet, fire roaring – and a bowl of something warm.

This is a great chowder for just one of those nights.  I’m continuing in my goal of cooking through all of Jenna’s recipes (that were on her site before Jan 1 2014) and am having fun with it so far.  Here is her recipe:

broccoli cheddar chowder
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Comfort
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Creamy chowder
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium sized bunch broccoli, chopped (about 12 oz florets)
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼th tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 oz) - I used Vermont extra sharp white cheddar
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • More cheese for the top
  1. Blanch broccoli and set aside
  2. Dice onion and potato and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the rest except the cheese.
  4. When boiling for about 20 minutes (or until potatoes are done), then add cheese and broccoli.
  5. Heat through and serve.

ELR14: Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream

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Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream IMG_4228 IMG_4252 IMG_4282

Last week was New Years, and on the second day of the new calendar – I started on my journey of cooking through Jenna’s recipe journal on Eat Live Run.

I hung out with a friend and her daughters for a play date, convo day mixed with yummy cookies. Jenna’s recipes give me creativity and allows me to try  new foods and cooking techniques.  It will definitely be a culinary adventure this year.

These oatmeal cookies were small, thick and chewy.  I added more milk and some cinnamon to the buttercream but that was the only alteration to her recipe.  We had fun and they were all gone in two days.


Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Cinnamon Buttercream
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Delicious sandwich cookie
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • For filling:
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted, softened
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Grease two cookie sheets and set aside
  3. Cream wet ingredients for cookies.
  4. Combine dry ingredients.
  5. Mix wet and dry.
  6. Form 24 hopefully uniform cookies
  7. Bake for 8 minutes.
  8. Let cool completely
  9. Mix all ingredients together for the filling. Place filling in between two cookies.
  10. Eat!