Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fresh Garden Vegetables And Rice (a summer recipe)





My dinner menu usually goes something like this: I decide what I’m going to prepare for dinner and then right smack in the middle of dinner preparation, I realize I’m out of a main ingredient. Then, to make matters worse, half the time I forget to take the meat out of the freezer in the morning. (See my about me section and you’ll notice I am ADD - now the aforementioned makes perfect sense.) This recipe was something I tried earlier in the summer when I was planning on grilled chicken salad, only to find out I was out of lettuce for the salad. I rambled through my pantry for plan B and saw a bag of brown rice, which my husband loves, and honestly, like all the times before, a recipe popped in my mind. I wondered if I could be fortunate enough to have some fresh green beans in the fridge. Yes, I did! This is what I whipped up to go with our grilled chicken. The two men of the house fell in love with it and I make it often now. I am fortunate that my daddy’s grape tomatoes and peppers did quite well this summer.

Fresh Garden Veggies With Rice

* Cooked brown rice (remember brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice!)
* Steamed whole green beans

For the roasted vegetables:
* Grape tomatoes (in this photo, I used red and yellow tomatoes)
* Onion slices (I prefer red onions for this)
* Chopped garlic
* Sliced bell pepper (I used yellow)
* Fresh rosemary
* Olive oil
* Kosher salt
* Ground black pepper

Toss all veggies together with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, till vegetables are as tender as you like them.
Serve over rice. Top with steamed green beans.

You can use variant types of vegetables for this. Like I said, I’m always out of something and I enjoy trying different things with this recipe.


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By the way - Yes, I am aware this is not the entry I promised for my next entry. I'm working on it and will probably add it to my spiritual walk journal, which I will have to link at a later time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Seventeen

That’s how many years we have been married, as of today.
August 14th 1992 - two lives became one …

The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength,” said the loud voice on my clock radio this morning. I keep my alarm set with the radio option instead of the annoying buzz option, because, waking up at 5:30 in the morning after going to sleep at 1:00 in the morning is annoying enough, if you ask me. I like to keep my radio programmed to our local Christian station because I enjoy spiritually uplifting radio talk shows and music. When your spirit is hungry for more than this world has to offer, there is nothing like waking up first thing in the morning and taking in the nourishment of God’s word.

Usually the alarm goes off in the middle of a song or radio host conversation, and usually, I hit the snooze button. But this morning was different. I was literally startled out of a sound sleep by the loud words, “The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength!” followed by a long pause, then, about a five minute conversation between the two radio hosts on the subject of finding your joy and strength in the Lord. My eyes suddenly filled with tears. Tears of joy - for this was a valuable reminder to my worried little soul. I went to bed last night with a heavy heart. So heavy, I didn’t even remember that today was our anniversary. A little recent history: The last year has been a very trying time for us. The husband’s business has been feeling the pinch in the economy. No, that’s an understatement. The uncertain economy has been choking us. We’ve been stressing over matters that we haven’t stressed over in a long time. Plus, some of you know that yesterday was Stephen’s first day of high school ... High School!!! We walked him to his classroom, told him we'd see him in a few hours and watched him walk away hand in hand with a new classroom aide he'd never met before. There we stood, and all we could do was trust that all was going to be okay. So much stress!
Stress has a way of robbing us of our joy -- If we let it.

Joy. Real, genuine joy. We all long for it. Few of us find it. Why is that? Maybe it’s because we are searching for joy in all the wrong places. Some of us seek joy through outside influences. Such as our careers, our bank accounts, material possessions, or, sometimes, in other people and our relationships with them. At least, that’s my story. I was a hopeless romantic all my life. From a young age, I expected my love life to be one big Jane Austen novel. One filled with drama, but a happy ending. Well, I got the drama I was expecting. Or, should I say … I brought on the drama? Yeah, most definitely, that’s what I should say. Happy ending? Well, it hasn’t ended yet, but so far, the ending is looking pretty good. Because I found Mr. Right? Uh, no. Because I finally found joy. After an overabundance of self-inflicted pain and unreal expectations, searching for happiness outside of myself, I finally looked within and allowed God to awaken my spirit and fill me with real, genuine joy only He can give. And the good news is, it’s true, what the bible says In Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” My “love life” is happily-content, finally. Not because “my husband” makes me happy per se, but because God is working in each of us, changing us into His ideal plan for marriage. We’re not there yet, but with His help, we’re becoming what I hoped for and talked about in this entry here - five years ago.

Over the last few months, I've felt led to start writing my testimony, and the truth is, I've been resisting because I don't feel comfortable yet. At the risk of being totally vulnerable, I will tell you more.

… In my next entry.