Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese

This mac & cheese looks truly delicious... & the slow cooker option allows it to cook while you're busy doing other things!

The Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (8 oz) elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 4 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cheddar cheese condensed soup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

The Directions:

Boil macaroni until tender. Drain. In medium saucepan, mix butter & cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

In slow cooker, combine cheese mixture, eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard & pepper. Stir well. Add drained macaroni & stir again. 

Turn slow cooker on "low" setting & cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

the courage to rest

Just realized that I still haven't posted the December meeting recap... & it was a GREAT one! So timely for the craziness of the Christmas holidays, but also applies to every week of our insane mama lives.

So please grab a cup of coffee & read for a few minutes... I think you'll be glad you did.

Dr Johnny McKinney spoke in December on the importance of having the courage to rest. So often -- every month, every week, every day -- our lives are driven our calendars. From the time we get up until we crawl back into bed, we are jerked around by our clocks.

{click here for free printable}
When you greet someone & they ask how you're doing, or what you've been up to, what do you say? The common reply in our culture, regardless of your role in life, is "Oh, I am SO busy." I say it. You say it. Who doesn't say this?

Dr McKinney asked us to consider that perhaps there's a subtle bragging in this response, an implied self-importance. Our society glorifies being busy... if you're not busy, there's something wrong. Busyness is something to be aspired to, to strive for. However, Dr McKinney pointed out that perhaps the glorification of busyness has an aspect of underlying idolatry. That by subtly implying that the world can't get along without us, we are actually promoting ourselves to a much higher importance than we are.

So how do we stop? How do we take a moment & pause? Are we, as this song says, traveling faster than our souls can go?

Psalms 46:10 instructs us to "BE STILL & KNOW." God is asking us to step out of the traffic & take a long, loving look at Him. Our bodies need rest... this is how He created us. In order to maintain physical, emotional & spiritual health, rest is absolutely necessary.

So what about during the day, when things are zooming along at a million miles a minute? How do you rest when there's just so much to do? Dr McKinney recommends that you give yourself a "pause point"... a moment of "time-out" to ask yourself the following questions:

Pause Point:
What is driving my actions? Is it obligation or necessity? Am I trying to be super-mom? Am I too uptight about something? Do I need to catch my breath?

You also have to draw a line with your kids' busyness. Between dance & soccer & baseball & gymnastics & club meetings, it's easy to never have a moment to breath as a family. Each family is different, so only you know how much is too much. Find the balance between supporting your kids' extracurricular activities without teaching them the glorification of busyness.

Try to do these 3 R's once a day:

REFRAIN. Just stop. After the kiddos are in bed, or before they wake up, take a moment to just stop & be still.

RECHARGE. Take time to rejuvenate. God created us with limitations & that's ok... you have to be kind to yourself.

REFOCUS. Use these quiet times to remind yourself of what's important. Remember who you really are. Stop long enough to let God hug you.

Give yourself permission to stop. You are NOT lazy because you take a break. Be intentional & set time aside for rest. Let go of the guilt. Unplug from your laptop & phone & ipad to allow your brain to rest as well as your body.

SIMPLIFY your life. SIMPLIFY your kids' lives. Just stop & be. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Easy Enchiladas

Mexican food is always a hit in our house... & quick & easy meals are even better!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can refried beans (optional)
  • Soft tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese -- cheddar &/or pepper jack (if you like spicy)
  • Other toppings (optional) -- Frito corn chips, lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole, jalapenos

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown beef & season with taco seasoning mix, following the directions on the mix envelope. Combine cream of chicken soup & sour cream in small bowl to make "white sauce." Heat up refried beans.

Spread beef, beans & a spoonful of white sauce in the middle of a tortilla. Roll up tortilla & place in 9x13 baking dish. Repeat until meat & beans run out (you should still have some white sauce left).

Once all tortillas are rolled & in the baking dish, pour the remaining white sauce over them & spread evenly. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

*Tip: You can top with crushed Frito corn chips or a Mexican salad (lettuce, tomato, guacamole). The great thing about Mexican is that you can add whatever your family likes to suit your needs!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday: Pico de Gallo

Salsa in the jar is good, but sometimes you just need some delicious homemade pico de gallo with your chips!

The Ingredients:

  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp jalapenos, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

The Directions:

Combine all ingredients & allow to sit for at least 6 hours before serving.