Thursday, June 27, 2013

Choosing Love: Patience


I’ve been digging in to The Love Dare recently. I know, I know – I’m so behind, right – that whole Love Dare fad was years ago. But hear me out... 

This book comes with a stigma, I think. A preconceived (and purposefully marketed) thought that it is strictly for struggling marriages. For husbands. For wives. And while that may be true, it is for so much more. 

Because we don’t limit love to single relationships. 

We throw it around, bask in it, and call it by name with so many more than our spouses. And, learning to – choosing to - love is for more than just my husband. It’s for my friends, my coworkers, for the struggling mom in the apartment below me, the elderly woman with an armful of groceries in the parking lot. 

Love reaches far past the boxes we put it into.

And so, we begin. With patience.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

 “…Patience stops problems in their tracks. More than biting your lip, more than clasping a hand over your mouth, patience takes a needed deep breath. It clears the air. It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room.”

A scorpion tail… can you see it? Can you conjure up the last time you got the final, biting word in? Stormed off in a huff before waiting for a response? Reacted in anger without all the facts?
Can you picture that foolishness whipping through the air?

I read the patience chapter weeks ago and yet, I still have to purpose each day to choose it. To choose patience over a short fuse.
Some days I think I may simply implode if I have to hold my tongue for one more minute. (In my world, my words are that scorpion tail…) but in the moments that I take a second, seek the Lord (literally sending up prayers here) and choose patience, I choose to love.
I choose to lay down my agenda, my pride, my opinion, my voice and pick up and pour out love.

And, you know what, the more I choose patience – the more I choose love, the more I desire to.

“Few of us do patience very well, and none of us does it naturally. But wise men and women will pursue it as an essential ingredient to their relationships.”

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Hungry Girl: Final Notes

After a week of Hungry Girl recipes and days of looking through all the many options I have yet to cook, here are my thoughts…

1. This book is definitely geared toward the busy woman… meals are quick and simple, ingredients are no fuss and directions are to the point. Which, as I general rule, I like in a cookbook.

2. I am excited to use these recipes as a base for new meals. I can definitely get stuck in a rut.

3. My husband was, overall, pleased with the meals I made from the Hungry Girl cookbook. Which I’m glad for – cooking for a picky eater can be time consuming, and Lisa’s recipes certainly weren’t.

4. Lisa’s inspiration definitely comes from a low-fat, low-calorie perspective. Which I normally agree with, but I had a hard time with the translation of ingredients at times.

Shall I elaborate??? In my personal opinion, a low calorie no sugar packaged whatchamahuzit isn’t any more nutritionally beneficial than a full calorie full sugar packaged whosamacallit… I strongly believe that choosing calories that come from a whole foods, well rounded diet, in moderation will trump a “slim fast” any day.

That said, I, like anyone else have just as much trouble choosing strawberries over oreos. Speaking of which, strawberries over oreos sounds good – maybe throw in a little whipped cream??? (oh boy!)

5. Please keep in mind… while I did make a sampling of the recipes from the Hungry Girl cookbook, I did not come close to cooking everything. Some recipes are certainly more balanced than others. Some quicker. Some have more veggies. Some are smothered in cheese and others are lightly doused in extra virgin olive oil. Browse through a copy and decide for yourself.

Well, that’s all for the Hungry Girl cookbook.
If you missed a post or two, click below to get up to speed:

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hungry Girl: Perfect Pepperoni Pizzas

We've come to our final Hungry Girl recipe for the week. You can find oodles more in Lisa Lillien’s cookbooks or online at Hungry

Perfect Pepperoni Pizzas

1 light English muffin
¼ cup shredded fat free mozzarella cheese
8 pieces turkey pepperoni
2 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
Optional: salt, black pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Season tomato sauce, to taste, with any of the optional ingredients. Split English muffin in half and spread sauce on both halves.
Evenly sprinkle cheese over the 2 halves and then top with pepperoni. Place muffin pan on baking pan sprayed lightly with nontstick spray and cook for 12 to 14 minutes.
Season as desired.
Serves 1 // 190 calories per serving (up to 100 calories less than 1 slice of takeout!!!)

Notes from my Kitchen:
1. Pizza is hard to replace – so I give Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien kudos for her efforts – there are multiple pizza recipes in the Hungry Girl Cookbook, I simply chose this once for its simplicity.
2. I used whole wheat English muffins, they turned out fine. I DID NOT spray with nonstick cooking spray, I usually avoid that stuff as much as possible – nothing was sticky…
3. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND toasting the English muffin halves BEFORE topping with the sauce. They got really soggy as the tomato soaked in…not exactly a good look for pizza… if toasting, lessen the cook time appropriately, simply enough time to heat and melt the cheese. 

Find more Hungry Girl Recipes Below:

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