Archive for June, 2014

Cole Slaw

Monday, June 30th, 2014

 

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It is summertime which means BBQs and picnics. Call me anti- American if you wish, but the only two foods I do not enjoy are hot dogs and mayonnaise. So when it is time to pack up a special dish for a cookout with friends, I bring my NO MAYO COLE SLAW. My grandma would make me a batch of this cole slaw whenever she knew there would be plenty of “tasty” mayo based potato salads and slaws. I love the celery seed and bring crisp acidity of my Grandma’s famous slaw.

Cole Slaw
1 large head of cabbage
1 green pepper
1 onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil

Shred cabbage and place 1/2 into a very large mixing bowl. Grate the onion and green pepper, placing 1/2 of each on top of the cabbage. Sprinkle cabbage with 1/2 cup of sugar. Repeat layers; cabbage, pepper, onion and sugar.
Bring to a boil vinegar, oil, salt and celery seeds. Pour boiling hot mixture over the cabbage layers. Do not stir!
Refrigerate at least 4 hours, overnight is best. Stir and serve.

 

Sincerly Yours, Letters to Jude

Friday, June 27th, 2014

 

 

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Today we leave for the Czech Republic. Over the past 10 years my husband and I have been on 8 trips to this beautiful country; building relationships and sharing Christ’s love.

I am excited to head out again on this adventure with my amazing husband but I really will miss our little bear! So, I spent some time writing him a letters for each day that we will be away. Jude loves mail! Each day when we get home he jumps out of the car and races me to the mailbox. I wrote him about our favorite songs, our favorite movies, funny stories, gave him special missions… all to remind him how very much we love him.

 

Chicken Fajita Soup

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

20140602-195630-71790184.jpg It’s a rainy day here in Georgia and nothing cheers me up more on a day like this than a hot, steamy bowl of soup and a grilled sandwich. I love this Chicken Fajita Soup because it is quick and easy. I can have  hearty bowl of homemade soup ready for my family in less than 30 minutes. Sometimes I brown up a few quesadillas or tortillas rolled up with cream cheese to serve with this warm bowl of goodness!

Chicken Fajita Soup

2-3 chicken breasts, diced

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 red onion

1 jalapeño or poblano pepper (or both)

1, 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes

32 oz. chicken broth

2 tbs. cumin

2 tbs. ancho chili powder

1 tbs. cilantro, fresh or dried

1 clove garlic

Salt and pepper

Lots of toppings

Slice your peppers and onions fajita style, long strips and cut the strips in half… think bites size pieces. Using a spoon, seed your poblano or jalapeno and dice very small. Be careful not to touch your eyes or nose after handling hot peppers! Put tbs. EVOO into a deep soup pan and brown the diced chicken on med-high. As the chicken browns, season with cumin, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper. When meat is thoroughly cooked, add peppers and onions to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes and add garlic, saute until garlic is slightly browned. Next, add fire roasted tomatoes to your pot and give the ingredients a good stir. If were are in the mood for an extra hearty soup, I will add a can of black bean, sweet corn and sometimes both. Pour in chicken stock. Once soup begins to boil… it is time to eat.

image Next comes the best part, the toppings: green onions, avocado, lime, fresh cilantro, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. Top your steamy bowl of Chicken Fajita Soup with the topping you like best and take a big bite.

Rainy days aren’t so bad are they?

What is your comfort food on a rainy day?
Enjoy!

Blueberry picking

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

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All year long Mr. Haven comes into the coffee shop to pick up pounds upon pounds of coffee grounds. He uses these grounds to fertilize the soil of his beautiful blueberry farm. Blueberry Haven in located in Camp Hill, Alabama. This 220 acre blueberry farm is home to over 20,000 plants.The mission of this local farm is to “provide fresh, locally grown food and a wholesome farm experience” to their visitors. I value local farmers, ones who takes special care to use natural farming practices to build the soil of sustainable small farms. Blueberry Havens uses no fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides on their sweet blueberries. How wonderful does $8 per gallon of ripe blueberries sound? If Mr. Haven is out, he works on honor system, just grab a bucket and drop your $8 in the dropbox and have fun picking.

Seeing those vivid green plants, speckled with my favorite fruit, I really was in blueberry heaven! It was a hot, sunny day and our little family had so much fun picking. Jude decided we would make filling our two buckets a contest, boys against girls. The boys won of course! I spent most of my time sampling… I couldn’t help it and Mr. Haven loves for you to sample along your blueberry adventure. Mr. Haven also loves books and runs a small bookstore on the property. Jude fell in love with a book all about the filming of his dad’s favorite movie, Jurassic Park.

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I have been busy using my two gallons of blueberries, making blueberry bread pudding, blueberry crisp and a tasty blueberry banana bread (recipe to follow).

Take the drive this weekend. Blueberry season (in Georgia) last from mid-June to August. Only a few more weeks of picking left…

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Blueberry & Banana Bread

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tbs. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients; flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl egg, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Add milk and bananas to egg batter until. Next,  Incorporate both wet and dry ingredients, folding in the walnuts last. Pour your delicious batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. I know how awful it is to consume raw eggs, but I ALWAYS taste test my batter. Who knows… today I may have a taste for a little cinnamon or brown sugar. Bake for 45 minutes. Allow your bread to cool for 15 minutes before digging in.

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Enjoy!

 

The Great Adventure Hunt

Friday, June 20th, 2014

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Jude and I decided to go on an adventure. As a mom, I am constantly looking for fun, inexpensive things to do to fill my little ones weekend with joy. My sweet friend and mom of 4 beautiful girls gave me this super fun idea. I asked Jude if he would like to go on a nature scavenger hunt? “Mom, we can’t go on an “adventure hunt without dad!” But since dad was out of town, we decided we would take lots of pictures so we could tell him all about it. I asked Jude to draw pictures of things he would like to look for in the woods. He loves being outdoors, so had many ideas of his own of things he could find. We looked up pictures online of the items. As he drew I couldn’t help but be impressed by his four year old drawing skills.

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I recently discovered that we have a state park right in the city of Auburn, Chewacala State Park. So we packed a lunch, jumped into the car and set out to explore. It cost us only $4 to get in, which included entrance for 3 (we brought a friend). There is nothing like a little boy outside. Jude was so excited to get the hunt started.

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We came across a very high, old metal slide and Jude just had to take a few runs down.

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The treetop canopy gave the sun a bright green glow making it feel magical outdoors. We found so many rocks in different shapes, colors and sizes. IMG_3112

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Mushrooms seemed to impress Jude most! We found simple button mushrooms, fat bright red and yellow mushrooms, even mushroom growing up sides of trees. IMG_3337

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Jude thought these bugs looked VERY silly!

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We couldn’t figure out why a little snail would leave such a lovely home?

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We found a beautiful waterfall which fed a rocky stream. We took off our shoes and stepped into the cool crisp water. As we put our bare toes into the water, I pointed out hundreds of little black tadpoles wiggling around. Jude thought it would be a great idea to add a picture of these baby frogs to his adventure journal.

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We found acorns, leaves, clouds, turtles, rocks, ants, flying and crawling bugs, laughed, we got dirty and had the very best day!

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I had so much fun collecting and celebrating Jude’s discoveries!

A special thanks to Melodi Pike Photography for helping us to capture these precious memories. I had several of our picture framed as a Father’s Day gift for Michael.

Pizza Pies

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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Every Father’s Day my husband requests just one thing, Pizza Hand Pies. We are a pizza loving family. In fact, if you knew my son at all, you would know that he loves pepperoni. I mean LOVES! He used to wake up crying in the middle of the night crying for “peppers” and the only thing that would get him back to bed was, well, to give him a handful of pepperonis. These pizza pies are packed full of mini pepperoni, cheese and delicious tomato sauce. Unlike traditional pizza dough, this dough is extra buttery and flaky. But the best thing about these pies is that they freeze well. I can spend an afternoon baking and Michael is happy for weeks.

Pepperoni Pizza Pies

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter

1 tbs. granulated garlic

2 tbs. dried oregano

1 tbs. kosher salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 eggs (one for dough and one for brushing pastries)

3 tbs. olive oil

2 tbs. milk

5 oz. package of pepperoni (I love the minis, perfectly bite sized!)

8 oz. mozzarella, sliced or shredded.

Combine dry ingredients; flour, herbs and spices. Use a pastry blender or food processor to work in the butter until pea sized clumps of butter are evenly distributed throughout the flour. Whisk together egg, milk and olive oil. Mix egg mixture into dry ingredients until just combined forming a ball of dough. Divide dough into 4  and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before you begin rolling out the dough.

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Roll out dough 3/4 inch thick. I used a small salad bowl to cut out circles.

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Next, spread on tomato sauce onto middle of each dough circle, leaving at least a 1 inch border. Add cheese and pepperoni.

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Fold the circles in half to form your pies. Using fork, crimp the edges closed with a fork.

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Bake pies at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I like to add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese during the last 10 minutes of baking… Michael loves the crunchy baked cheese on the outside.

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Enjoy!

What I have learned from the fathers in my life

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

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My Grandfather, Posie
My mom had me at a very young age. My grandparents were dating at the time, both recently divorced. My mom and grandma decided to put me up for adoption but regretted the decision immediately. As they laid in bed crying, grieved, my Grandfather Posie encouraged them to go get me and bring me home. He promised to be there to help support our little family unconditionally. It was through his heart and his actions that a teenage girl had the strength to be a mother. It is much easier to follow your dreams, take risks, to try for something when you know there is someone to be there if you fall down. Someone to pick you up and brush you off. My grandpa has been just that for me. My grandpa has served as my role model of what a man should be; loving, kind, hard working, the leader and supporter of his family.

My Father, Brigham
My father was absent most of my life. In fact, we didn’t meet until I was about 6 years old. I was born to parents who were just children. I thank God for helping me to understand from a young age how hard it must have been for my parents, how overwhelming life must have been. I truly never felt bitterness or anger towards my father. But it was not until my wedding day that I gained a glimpse into his life and his heart which was clearly full of regrets and grief that we were so lost from one another. It was my grandfather and brother that walked me down the isle to give me away to my husband, not him. As my father danced with me on my wedding day, his eyes were full of tears as he told me how much he loved me and that he was sorry. Since that day he has tried… Tried to call, tried to talk, and tried to invest in me and for that I am grateful. He has also blessed me with two incredible little brothers! My dad has taught me that is never to late to say, “I am sorry” and that love is not clearly defined, that it runs deep and it is not always easy.

My Father-in-Love, Michael Sr.
I am so thankful to have married into such a loving family. We all know that person who when sees an abandoned kitten or stray pup, takes them in, gives them food, love, nurses them back to health and finds them a loving home. My father in law is this way but with people. When Michael comes across the downcast, the discouraged, the underdog, he immediately becomes their biggest champion. He gives of himself no matter the cost. My father-in-law Michael has taught me; to respect others, to always do the right thing even when it is hard, work hard, take care of others and to be generous.

My Husband, Michael
I never thought I could love Michael more deeply until our son, Jude, was born. I find no greater joy than watching Michael pour out his love on our boy, he just makes life FUN. He grabs Jude and I’s hands and takes us along on oh so many adventures. Michael has taught Jude how to cook, garden, hammer in nails to build bird houses, how to run in the sprinkler, and that it is ok to get dirty. I thought I would ask Jude a few questions about his dad…

ME: What do you love about dad?

JUDE: He is my best bud… to the end!

ME: What is your favorite thing to do with dad?

JUDE: Play Ninja Turtles and Legos

ME: What is your dad’s job?

JUDE: He works at church. He is pastor Mike.

ME: How does dad take care of us?

JUDE: Gives us hugs and cuddles with us.

ME: What does dad teach you about Jesus and the Bible.

JUDE: He reads me stories. He reads me about Joseph with a colorful coat. Jesus lives in our heart. 

JUDE: Mom, my dad lets me run in the sprinkler. He makes a fire for s’mores. And will found the caterpillar that ate our tomato.

The thing I treasure most about my husband is that he is a Christ follower. He is working hard to raise our son Biblically, helping to build a strong foundation in Christ. Everyday I hear Michael whisper to Jude, “God has a plan and a purpose for your life” and Jude always says, “what is it?” Michael’s response is what melts my heart, ” I don’t know what it is buddy, but I know it is going to be great!” I love that our house if full of praise, prayer, and bedtime bible stories. I love that Jude loves to be in the church and that at the age of four he tells me he wants to be a pastor like his dad. What I have learned from my husband is how to love with a Christ-like love and that life is an adventure.

My Little Brother, Cameron
When I see Jude playing with his ninja Turtles, It reminds me so much of my baby brother. If you asked Cameron what he wanted to be when he was Jude’s age he would reply, “I want to be a Ninja Turtle when I grow up!” I have had the pleasure watching this scrawny little boy grow into an All-American football player. He has always worked hard to follow his passions. I have watched him grow into a man who is never afraid to tell you he loves you, to grab you in for a warm bear hug, who loves babies. He has taught me that no dream is too big if you have the passion and drive to make it happen. This is Cameron’s first Father’s Day. I am so proud of my brother. I look forward to watching him raise his sweet baby boy, my nephew Noah!

 

Friendship Fridays: Bread and Wine

Friday, June 13th, 2014

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I would like to introduce to you Flying Paper Airplanes’ new feature, Friendship Fridays. As a mission of my blog includes community, sharing life with those around me, I thought it would be great to let you meet a few people who have really invested in my life. It is my goal to not only build community, but also to highlight the gifts and talents of those I love. I look forward to offering you a set of diverse and creative features from my friends to yours.

Today I would like to feature Krissy Collins of Reclaimed Spaces. Krissy inspires me to read and to write. She is always reading something new and often shares with me highlights of her favorite books, pouring out a few of the details, but just enough to get me into the car to pick up a copy. The best part is most of the time I don’t have to grab a copy for myself because she is thoughtful enough to grab a copies for her friends. I really think she would have a fantastic career in writing liner notes for books, because she usually has me sold! This year alone she has blessed me with my two favorite reads, Love Does by Bob Goff and Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. So of course, I ask Krissy to do a series of book reviews to share with us… she really has a way with words.

Krissy has played a major part in the launch of Flying Paper Airplanes. We each had two very different visions for starting blogs and with encouragement from one another both launched our blogs on the same weekend. I am so grateful for her push, which brings me here with YOU. Her blog Reclaimed Spaces is unique in that Krissy’s heart is not to share her story, but to put into words the stories of others. Visit her site to learn more about her passion for people and sharing their stories, stories of love, hope and restoration. I can’t get enough!

Enjoy Krissy’s review of one of our favorite books, Bread and Wine. Also, subscribe to our blogs Reclaimed Spaces and Flying Paper Airplanes for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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Bread and Wine 

by Krissy Collins of Reclaimed Spaces

She had me at Blueberry Crisp. I’m a sucker for that oven-warm, tart bubbly fruit, with its sweet, crunchy crust. Say no more. SOLD. I dig cookbooks and knew if it included the beautiful simplicity of a crisp in a book about food, that my mind could tolerate it after a long day, leaving my palate satisfied. The crisp was delicious, the recipe easy, convenient and frugal, but much to my surprise, this book was far more than a grocery list of ingredients and delicious food that lands on my book shelf but never on my table.

In her book, Bread & Wine, Shauna Niequist considers the gluten sensitive, the busy family in need of leftovers, the budgeters, the event-throwers and the kitchen inexperienced. A lovely variety for anyone and everyone, whatever, wherever your place.

While I was initially drawn to these pages for their recipes, what left me impatient, burning for more, was the unexpected stories told with exceptional vulnerability. Her beautiful words poured out will shift your insides, awakening memories of the past and memories you long to create, incapsulating the importance of the table as sacred ground, where we pray and commune, rejoice and grieve.

You’ll want to read this. You’ll want to join her cooking club, and when you bounce back into reality, you’ll realize you can’t. So you’ll start your own. You’ll mend broken relationships, forgive your less-than-perfect body, create space for moments of love, tender truth, and daring dreams.

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table With Recipes is available in most bookstores. Purchase, devour, re-read, then give it away…or just buy multiple copies for everyone you know. Regardless, you won’t be able to keep it to yourself.

Czech Lemon and Ginger Tea

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

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It’s summertime and I am enjoying spending time outdoors with my family; on the slip and slide or having nature scavenger hunts. However, the last few adventures chasing my wild little bear through the forest has left me with itchy eyes, sore throat and a runny nose… Allergies. This recipe has traveled across the ocean, made by friends in the Czech Republic. When dealing with allergies, stomach cramps or a common cold, I brew up a hot pot of ginger tea. You can feel the warmth as the spicy ginger rolls down your throat, pure comfort with a touch of sweetness.

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Czech Lemon and Ginger Tea
1/2 lemon sliced
About 8, 1/4 inch slices of fresh ginger
2 tbs. honey, or more to taste
3 cups water

Fill a tea kettle or small pot with water. Add lemon, ginger and honey and bring to a boil. Steep lemon and ginger for 5 minutes as the water boils. The longer you steep the ginger, the spicer the tea will get, so give it a taste. If The tea is not sweet enough for you add more honey. Remove the ginger and lemon. Pour a nice steamy cup for yourself and begin feeling better.

těšit!

Sails Away Apparel

Friday, June 6th, 2014

I am extra excited about sharing with you Sails Away Apparel. Our friends Ryan and Shaina have recently taken “sail” to follow their dream of starting a clothing company for kids and adults. This amazing couple are blessed with two sweet little girls Scout (1) and Sailor (2), thus the name Sails Away. It doesn’t get much cuter than Sailor modeling her parents new brand! My favorite is the Sails Away Feather Crest tank top, great for both little girls and guys. I am looking forward to seeing what Sails Away Apparel has in store for this creative husband and wife duo. image

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Here is the best part, Sails Away Apparel is offering a promo code for Flying Paper Airplanes readers. Help me wish my friends good luck by purchasing one of these super fun shirts or headbands.

Promo Code: Airplanes for 15%off your order!

Check them out: sailsaway.bigcartel.com And on Instagram: sailsawayapparel Shaina: shainaleigh Ryan: ryanh120 Thank you Ryan and Shaina for being an inspiration of living your dream!

Flying Paper Airplanes