Showing posts from November, 2010


Turkey. Pumpkin pie. Cranberry sauce. All the trappings of an American tradition, baked, stirred, and served up amidst a collection of family favorites. Is this Thanksgiving?

Don't get me wrong. I love the holiday. But amidst the ritual replay of traditions, it's all too easy to lose sight of the greater truth we are celebrating.

As I sprawled on my living room floor Thanksgiving morning, wrapped haphazardly in my bathrobe, hair a messy pile on my head, giving thanks was the last thing on my mind. I stared frustrated at the laptop screen, glancing repeatedly up at the flat screen TV mirroring my actions on the computer. I'd awakened early to help start breakfast and watch the parade. But now I didn't notice the smell of hot monkey bread beginning to drift through the house. The only thing I could think about was the stupidity of NBC's website. They said the parade would stream live. Well, where was the bloomin' link?

It's amazing how the little things in lif…

Mexican Bean Salad: Had to share this one!

My mom found this recipe online, and it's already become a family favorite. It's easy and delicious, not to mention healthy!


1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar (I use Splenda)
1 tablespoon salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 dash hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Directions: Chop bell peppers and onion. Add corn.

Drain and rinse beans.

Combine with veggies. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Chill.


You can view the original recipe here.

Autumn Reading: Paul E. Miller's 'A Praying Life'

God has always used books to bless me and mold me. The most recent is Paul E. Miller's A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World.

I read this section tonight, thoroughly enjoying Miller's summarizing of the Christian life. It's not exhaustive, but it's challenging. It's not comprehensive, but it's thought-provoking.

I thought I would share.
Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is a blueprint for getting in touch with your self-will and letting God take control. Jesus introduces us to what it means to be a child of our heavenly Father. To understand the sermon, think of your life as a room filled with open doors called money, sex, power, and fame.Jesus begins the sermon by telling you he is going to go through your life and close all the doors to human power and glory. In the Beatitudes he says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5). In other words, he is saying, "Give up power in r…

Kitchen trip to the Keys: Too easy lime pie

Last week, we took a trip to the Keys. At least, that's what it tasted like.

My mom found an incredibly easy and delicious recipe for Key lime pie. We tried it once ourselves, then made it again to share! The second time, I doubled the recipe, and it still turned out.

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup Key lime juice (about 10-15 Key limes)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grate lime peel to make zest. Squeeze limes to make juice. 

Combine condensed milk and sour cream.

Mix well. Then mix in lime juice and zest.

Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 8 minutes, "until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie." Do not brown.

Serve chilled. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Enjoy! I know we did. 
You can view the original recipe here.

My new piano

When I was about 9 years old, my family bought our first piano. It was an old player model, having belonged to a family friend. Two years later, we sold the instrument to move to north Idaho.

It wasn't a bad trade -- a piano for farm life on 10 acres. But I missed playing music, and after I sold my second 4H market hog, I bought a piano. Like my first one, it was about a hundred years old. Heavy, clunky, and full of character.

But, like all good things, farm life in Idaho came to an end. I sold my piano back to it's original family and headed east with the rest of my clan, back to the land of our heritage: the Ozarks.

That was in 2003. Since then, I have often thought of buying another piano. But with life as unsettled as it has been, first with finding the right town and then finishing college, I didn't put any real effort into the task. But for the last year or so, I've missed having a piano in the living room. I started praying about it. Being a poor college student…