28 April 2014

Bible Study & Fellowship {in the mountains!}

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Poncho Honcho.


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Peek a boo!


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Snow capped mountains!


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Time to get into the Word.


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Bundled up.


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Ellie was quite cozy.


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An exciting baseball game followed our study.


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Kid’s quizzes along the trail.


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We switched up our monthly family bible study by heading up to Oak Glen after church. The brisk mountain air was definitely a change of pace for us desert folks. We were a little nervous about it being TOO cold as the temperature kept dropping on our drive up but it ended up being a fantastic sunny day!

We enjoyed a picnic lunch, a fun baseball game, and a beautiful nature walk along the botanical gardens.

It all made for a lovely setting to be outdoors and bask in God’s creation while fellowshipping with good friends.

(We missed you, Ritz’s!) 

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~Hebrews 10:23-25

24 April 2014

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green fruit. Sometimes called Mexican green tomatoes, the tomatillo looks like a small green tomato with a papery covering or husk. They have a distinctive tart and fresh flavor. 
Have you ever cooked with tomatillos? This was my first time and hopefully, not my last! A couple of weeks ago, I craved a hearty meatless meal but not one that skimps on flavor.
These tomatillos were the star of this chili.
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It also included yams, Yukon Gold potatoes, and poblano chilis.

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It was also my first time using hominy. Yum!

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Enter the diced green chili and poblano blend.

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Served with sweet, moist corn bread muffins.
Our family pretty much enjoys chili all year round. This was such a pleasant surprise from the normal turkey chili we usually have. It was hearty enough to satisfy yet packed with freshness and depth.
If you like salsa verde as much as I do, you’re going to really enjoy this chili!
*adapted from Giada’s recipe
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • One 8-ounce Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • One 8-ounce yam (red-skinned sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 4 large cloves garlic, flattened, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos (8 to 9 ounces), husked, rinsed, cored and chopped
  • 2 large poblano chiles (8 to 9 ounces), stemmed, seeded; 1 diced, 1 cut into 4 strips
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 28-ounce can hominy with juices
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • One 7-ounce can diced mild green chilies
  • Garnishes, such as crumbled feta cheese, chopped green onions, sliced avocados, and lime wedges.
Heat the oil in a heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, yams, garlic, tomatillos and poblanos. Cover and sweat until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning, about 8 minutes. Mix in the oregano, flour, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the hominy with the juices and the broth and bring the chili to a simmer.
Place the green chiles in a processor. Using tongs, transfer strips of the poblano chile from the pot to the processor; blend just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce into the pot.
Cover and simmer the chili 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is reduced to desired consistency, stirring often, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve with garnishes and cornbread.

22 April 2014

Resurrection Sunday

The making of Resurrection Rolls started early.


The empty tomb. “He is risen!”

Church on the lawn.

Our tea party hats came in handy for an outdoor Easter service.

The kids in their Easter attire.

Grandma hosted an egg hunt this year.


And the boy/man cousins came from San Diego.
As Spirit filled Christ followers, may we live out the truth and the Good News of Resurrection Sunday. Reminding ourselves that victory was not won for one day only but for every day since!
Thank you, Jesus!

Hallelujah, Happy Easter


Originally posted by Matt Walsh. 

A glorious piece on the mission and purpose of Christ.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, walked on Earth, teaching and healing and demonstrating for all of us the essence of Love.

And for this, He was captured, tortured and murdered in the most gruesome fashion imaginable. He was made to suffer more than any person before or since. It was the greatest crime in the history of humanity; the created slaughtered the Creator, and He offered no resistance. But this tragedy led to the ultimate triumph: He rose from the dead, conquered sin and opened up the gates of Heaven.

Before He ascended, He entrusted the Truth of human salvation to a small band of poor, simple, ordinary men. He told them to travel throughout the land and preach the Gospel. He promised them persecution, suffering, and death, and they received it. He also promised them eternal salvation and happiness, and they received it.

The Christians, the converts to Christ, met and worshipped in caves and basements. They were sought and murdered; a reality they embraced when they accepted His Word. Yet, in the face of incredible odds, in less than 300 years they peacefully conquered the most powerful empire on Earth. That feat alone is enough to convert anyone who considers it with an honest mind and an open heart.

No religion has accomplished what Christianity has accomplished. No ideology. No school of thought. No idea, no government, no political system. Nobody else, nothing else has ever lit the world on fire like the Gospel.

Soon, Christ’s message would make it to every corner of the world, and it would be the driving force of civilization for two thousand years. Christians would go where nobody else would go, and serve those who nobody else would serve, and win souls that nobody else could win.

Christianity is diversity. It speaks to all kinds of people, and fits into the totality of the human experience. It isn’t broad like a sitcom is broad, but it isn’t narrow like an alley or a political party is narrow. It’s deep, it’s universal. It meets us where we are, and lifts us to a better place.

We Christians are soldiers in a cosmic struggle, and the war is still raging. Many have died in the flesh, or much worse, in the spirit.

Governments and kingdoms of men have tried to exterminate the Truth, but all have failed. Christianity is a religion of peace and love, but it’s also a warrior’s faith. It isn’t a blanket to hide under, it’s a battle flag to march under. It doesn’t hide us from the pain and suffering that this world has to offer — it commands us to endure it, confront it, and find the beauty in it all.

Easter reminds us that there is an end to the suffering and a purpose in the pain. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He triumphed over evil. And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

This is what I believe, and I am not ashamed.

Hallelujah. Amen.

Happy Easter, everyone.

21 April 2014

Classic Car Show & Triple Date



This owner enthusiastically shares his stories with the guys.


Classic cars, good friends, a live band, an amazing dinner, and a gorgeous night? Yes, please!
Derek is now the General Manager at Desert Willow Golf Resort so we were able to tag along on this special event he was having at the club.
A rare triple date with our good friends.

Check out Ben’s moves on the dance floor! I think that’s called the “sprinkler!”

It was still Hailey’s birthday so she called for a birthday dance! Plus, we couldn’t let all the old people have all the fun. ;)
Derek stepped away to tend to work while Morgan took some incriminating photos of us. I’ll spare you the video! Hilarious!! :)
Oh my, we laughed so hard!
Such a fun night!!

Brunch and a birthday!

We started with Tropical Yogurt Parfaits made with peaches, pineapple, granola, Greek yogurt, and toasted coconut. Yum!

The Summer Salad was a fresh corn, blueberry and chicken salad made with a yogurt and feta dressing.

Making goat cheese crostini with fig jam and prosciutto.

Girlfriends even pick up your camera and snap photos of food for you.

Janette & Yvonne.

Karen & Rory.

I am so blessed by these lovely ladies.

Happy Birthday my dear, Hailey!


Lemon Ice Box Pie with shortbread pecan crust.
This weekend, I hosted a brunch for some of my sweet girlfriends. It was my way of showing them how blessed I am to have each one of them in my life. Although we are all so different, the Lord has knitted our hearts together and I am so grateful to be doing life with them! They encourage me in my walk with the Lord and they give me delightful reasons to stretch my hospitality skills.
May the Lord direct our steps as we grow in the light of His grace.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
~Proverbs 31:25-30

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