Be Still…

It’s been a fun weekend! On Saturday, it was a Community Garage Sale day! Those are always fun. We didn’t have a garage sale this year, but we plan on saving up some junk to sell for next year. It’s amazing what people will buy. And ridiculous. And I’m not exempt from this group of people. But the only things we bought this time were children’s books. We found some Berenstain Bears and Little Critters, both of which were two of my favorite series growing up. When we got home, I threw together some ingredients for crockpot red beans! We had a dinner party to go to that night and it was a taco theme! I love a theme! The beans were easy – dry kidney beans, veggies, seasoning, water. I meannnn, I love a recipe that can come together with SO little effort on my part.

http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/slow-cooker-red-beans-and-rice/10972c0d-2186-4067-9dc2-5e812472cf8a

I also put together a Sopapilla Cheesecake! It’s also been called a Churro Cheesecake. I’ll eat it whatever it is called! I had tried before and found the recipe on Pinterest. It was also a cinch to put together.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

It was simply crescent rolls on the bottom, a jazzed up cream cheese filling, another layer of crescent rolls, melted butter, and a layer of cinnamon sugar.

http://bestrecipesite.net/sopaipilla-cheesecake/

PS – my friend over at Willow Bird Baking does a PUMPKIN version of this! I will so be trying this when Fall comes back around!

http://willowbirdbaking.com/2011/10/02/easy-sopapilla-pumpkin-cheesecake-bars/

Get in mah belly.

Before naps, the boys played outside. My little guy was picking up little things that he found on our driveway (nuts, bolts, whatever else you find on driveways) and I thought he was going to put one of them in his mouth (as per the usual) and I went to say something to him (along the lines of “Smalls! No, no! Don’t put that in your mouth!), but something told me to stop. I simply watched him. Instead of putting that bolt (or whatever) in his mouth, he walked to the back of his trike, lifted the lid to the little trunk and placed it in there, ever so gently. I watched him for a few minutes more and saw that he was placing lots of little things in there – sticks, dirt clods, more bolts. To him, they were little treasures that he wanted to save. It was a small moment, but a moment that was a reinforcing one to me, and reminded me of one of my favorite Bible verses – “Be still, and know that I am God…” – Psalms 46:10. We needn’t worry, we simply need to sit back, be still, and know that God has all sorts of His own treasures for us. It was a poignant reminder to me of God’s simple way of taking care of us.

I asked Smalls to show me what was in his treasure box:

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He was so proud to open the little lid.

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And I was so grateful that he was so eager to show his important things to me and Bigs.

I love reminders straight from God and love being reminded of God’s love through my sons.

We had such a fun time at our friends’ house that night! My friend is a fellow blogger and her and her husband have two boys similar in age to our boys. They were very gracious hosts and we can’t wait to do it again.

And the food was great! You can’t go wrong with tacos!

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The beans came out pretty good, too.

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I had also made basmati rice to go with them.

And dessert:

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My mouth is watering just writing this post!

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That cream cheese layer was so good. The only change I made to the recipe was that I added about a tablespoon of pure vanilla bean paste in addition to the vanilla extract. I like seeing the vanilla beans in my desserts.

Today, after church, we had a park get-together with some of Bigs’ Sunday School class. All were invited! Our friends (who have a little one Bigs’ age and they go to church and school together) made the suggestion to get together, so we could get to know each other. And what a wonderful time we had! It was nice to share in fellowship and to get to know the kids and the parents of the kids who join our sons in worship each Sunday. I hope to do it again. The kids had so much fun on the park – running, jumping, swinging, wishing on dandelions. Simple, honest, fun.

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I got in on the dandelion action.

I love building community, especially within our large church. What a blessing!

After naptime today, my husband grilled out…

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…while my sweet, wonderful sons played together.

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Bigs likes to “let” Smalls into his “clubhouse”.

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They could go up those stairs and down that slide over and over again.

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What a great end to a lovely Sabbath.

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Even my persnickety pup was relaxed.

I hope you had a blessed weekend, God Bless! ❤

Kristin

Anniverary Leftovers

We had a great anniversary…because we spent it together. Did we do fun stuff during the day? Ehhh, no. Our little one, Smalls, had an unusually high fever the day before and we’d been treating it. But yesterday, our anniversary, we took him to the doctor’s. It was just too high of a fever. So after two hours of waiting at our Pediatrician’s office, we left with a double ear infection diagnosis. Such a bummer. Pray for him? And to not spread sickness?

BUT…we DID go out to an early dinner without the kids. We went to a favorite of ours – Cheesecake Factory! We love that place! And guess what? They have an entire gluten free menu for my husband!

We started off with Shrimp Spring Rolls. We always used to get those when we were dating, so it was nice to have sort of a ‘throw back’. They were delicious.

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I love the dipping sauces. Once the spring rolls were gone, I used their fabulous bread, simply as a means to scrape more sauce out of the bowls, since licking them in public is frowned upon for some reason.

We shared an “adult” beverage, as well – the Pineapple Mojito! YUM!

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It was gorgeous! I’d not had that drink there before. I love how the aesthetics of it were just as beautiful as the flavor.

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And mint is one of my two favorite herbs (tied with cilantro). YUM.

I enjoyed it…

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…A LOT. 😀

I ordered the Luau Salad. I love ALL their salads, but I was feeling…tropical this time. No matter what salad I get there, I ALWAYS order a side of their house-made ranch dressing. I am sort of a ranch snob. I can pick out a store-bought bottled dressing anywhere. So. I URGE you to get their ranch. To dip your bread in, as well.

I am a pig.

Oink.

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With and without ranch. SO much better. Their ranch is a good accompaniment to any of their other dressings, as well.

Enough about their ranch, or they’re going to have to start paying me.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Husband ordered a hamburger off of their GF menu. It was one of the best burgers he’d (and me!) ever had. It was juicy and with the addition of bacon, the cheese wasn’t really missed.

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It was nice for him to have a meal that didn’t make him wish he wasn’t dairy or gluten free.

Until dessert time…

…when I ordered the Mango Key Lime Cheesecake.

YUM YUM YUM. I am eating the leftovers as I type this now.

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It was the perfect end to a celebration of five wonderful years.

Oh! And to catch up on food from the week, since that’s what I do…

I made yummy Oat Energy Balls!

Energy Balls 1

SUCH an easy recipe. A friend of mine posted the recipe on FB and it reminded me to make them. They are so easy, delicious, and HEALTHY!

The basic recipe is:

1 C dry oatmeal

1/2 C chocolate chips (I did a little bit less)

1/2 C peanut butter (I did homemade)

1/2 C ground flax seed (Costco sells a huge bag!)

1/3 C honey

1 t vanilla

I also added about 1/3 C shredded coconut. You mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and place in the fridge for about 10 or so minutes. Then you roll them into balls and keep in the fridge for about a week.

Energy Balls 2

My husband can’t keep his hands off of them. And I’ve been putting them in Bigs’ lunchbox for snacks.

Energy Balls 3

Try them! You can almost put anything in them, as long as the protein and sticky components are there.

I also made arepas. Have you had those?

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Nothing beats an arepa straight off the flat top grill from an outside cart in Miami, but hey, we aren’t there, so I make my own. Unfortunately for my DF husband, no cheese (no GOOD cheese) is allowed on these, but they were still so good! They remind me of my in-Heaven Southern Grandma’s hoe cakes. These are the Latin version.

Arepas 1

I used Harina PAN cornmeal. Super easy – recipe on back. Nothing fancy.

Hmm, I think that’s it for now.

Have a wonderful Friday (FINALLY here!!),

Kristin