Archive for February, 2011

Will You Come?


The candlelit table was set.

Soft, peaceful music played in the background.

Hours and hours had been spent creating a banquet-worthy dinner, complete with red velvet cake.

Lovely flowers, strings of hearts, and chocolate kisses spoke with a smile of what this evening was all about…



A week in advance, we had gone door-to-door inviting couples from our neighborhood to an exquisite Valentine dinner.

Most declined because of other obligations, but one couple confirmed their attendance, and a few others were hopeful. What a special time we were going to have serving dinner to our parents and neighbors!

Red Velvet Cake  Martha Washington Balls 

However, as we made last minute preparations, the number of expected guests suddenly dwindled from three couples to only one! Hmmm. Well, we were still excited they were coming, especially since they had never accepted our invitations before.

First Course

With the sun setting, food ready, lights dimmed, and growing anticipation, we waited for the promised company to arrive.


And we waited.


and waited…


and waited.


At first we thought that maybe they were still getting ready, or had accidentally gotten the dates mixed up. But, when the time to be “fashionably late” came and went, we knew they weren’t coming.

Didn’t they know all the effort we had spent preparing this special evening for them? Didn’t they know how much we wanted to bless them with a glimpse of God’s love?

As we sat, looking at our beautiful, vacant table, feeling somewhat amused, surprised, and very disappointed, a poignant lesson stirred our hearts.


GOD has invited me to His banquet of Love.

Did you know the Greek word for love (agape) actually means love feast?

How many times have I turned down His invitation for intimate fellowship because of other “obligations”?

Don’t I know what it personally cost Him to be able to invite me to this feast of fellowship with Himself?

Don’t I know what riches of His love He has prepared and longs to share with me?

Don’t I know how much I need to come and dwell in His presence?


“He has brought me to His banquet hall,

And His banner over me is love.”

Song of Solomon 2:4

May I never count anything more valuable than fellowship with my Savior.

He is worthy!

Don’t keep Him waiting.


P.S. The evening wasn’t all lost, however. Benjamin came up with the brilliant idea of serving us ladies the meal we had prepared. Thanks, guys! ;)

Girl time! :)

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Pineapple Salsa Chicken


Yesterday, being a busy day of teaching music lessons and my scheduled night to cook supper, I decided to try out a new crockpot recipe that would require minimum time in the kitchen. True to description, it turned out very easy, and the family gave it a hearty thumbs-up!  

Pineapple Salsa Chicken


Serves 6-8

6 fresh or frozen chicken breasts
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, like Great Northern, rinsed and drained
2 cups mild or medium salsa

Tortillas or tortilla chips and garnishes, like sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

Place the chicken in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (if using frozen chicken breasts, I recommend cooking it on high). Using tongs, remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred into bite-size pieces. Mix the chicken back in with the rest of the ingredients. The mixture will be fairly soupy – you may want to drain off some of the excess liquid before serving, or serve it with tongs instead of a spoon, so it doesn’t make your chips or tortilla soggy. Serve with tortilla chips and garnishes, such as tomatoes, cheese, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, cilantro, lime juice, etc.

*Freezable Option: You can freeze the leftovers in freezer-safe ziploc bags and either place the frozen portion in the crockpot for a few hours the day you want to serve it, or thaw the night before in the refrigerator and reheat on low in a saucepan.

Adapted from

I also sautéed a bell pepper and onion in olive oil (like you would for fajitas) and added that to the tortillas. Delicious!! This recipe has now been added to our collection of favorites. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Indian Food


While I was in Asia last fall, one of my favorite foods was an east Indian food called “roti prata” – a flaky, flat bread dipped in curry sauce. It was so delicious that I decided to attempt fixing it for the whole family! After researching and comparing various recipes online, I finally narrowed it down to what I thought would be most authentic.

The bread dough was very basic, consisting of flour, milk, water, clarified butter, and a bit of salt and sugar.

Balls of dough

Patting out 1
After letting the dough rise, I patted each ball into a large circle.

Patting out 2
As you can see, lots of oil is required to keep the dough from sticking. :)

Rolling out
Then, I rolled it out as thin as possible…

Transparent dough
You are supposed to be able to see through it. Is that transparent enough? :)

Folding 1
The next part was very interesting! You take the paper-thin sheet of stretchy dough and fold it in thirds from top to bottom and side to side.

Folding 2

Ready to fry
This gives the flat bread all those scrumptious, flaky layers. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to look pretty. :)

Finally, you fry the dough in a hot skillet and end up with a golden brown flat bread with distinct and chewy, yet crispy, layers!

Garlic, onion, ginger
The curry began with a large blend of onion, garlic, and fresh ginger. Strong stuff!

Curry spice

Curry in a bowl
The key ingredient = 5 tablespoons of curry powder. I was a little worried about how the family’s taste buds were going to handle this, but after cooking it all up with chicken, diced potatoes, coconut milk, and chili powder, they gave it a thumbs-up! In fact, it could have been a little spicier.


Dipping roti prata 
Too bad I didn’t have a few exotic fruits to complete the meal. :)

Iced hot chocolate
For dessert, I created something similar to the iced milo I had in Singapore. Basically, you pour hot chocolate over lots of ice and top it with dry hot chocolate mix and whipped cream.

Maggie thumbs up
I think that was probably their favorite part of the whole meal!

You have to go to Malaysia or Singapore to get the most authentic taste of a meal like this, but I have to admit that it turned out better than I hoped. It was definitely a culinary experience. :)

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This is a very…shall we say ‘RARE’ temperature for this part of the country! With wind chills in the negatives! BRRRR!

Maggie and Calli




Cousin Mat, Charity, and Abbie

Cousin Mat, Charity, and Abbie enjoying the snow. :)


We have a very fun tradition of being pulled behind the tractor on a sled–when it snows enough. *smirk* Here’s Maggie BEFORE she went.


……Maggie on her ride


…and Maggie afterwards. Brrr again. :)




Carinna, Abbie, and Hannah

The on-lookers.


We decided the wheel-barrow worked better than a sled.


8 seconds, Hannah, ride it for 8 seconds!!!


It was pretty dandy having our cousin pull the sled with his 4-wheel drive truck!

beans and cornbread

After it was over, we came back to the house and consumed beans, and cornbread. Yum.


Doesn’t he look cozy?!

snow ice-cream

Snow ice cream!!! It had been so long since we’ve made this. Hint…it tastes even better with Chocolate syrup and Peanut Butter. :)




The ice cream is the closest mom has gotten to this snow. =)

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