Roasted Purple Potatoes

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For a while my son couldn’t have rice or wheat, and potatoes started sneaking more and more onto our menus. It’s a good thing they are pretty versatile.  I am a huge fan of the simplicity of roasted potatoes.

We usually roast red potatoes, and fingerlings are always good too, but my littlest is currently obsessed with the color purple.  This past week at the grocery store she spotted these beautifully hued baby potatoes and asked very nicely if we could buy them.

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Boy, am I glad she did!  The kids were enamored with the deep color and we were all smitten with the taste.  The texture after roasting was almost velvety.   These were such a nice side for our salmon the other night.  I will definitely be splurging on these delicious spuds again.

Ingredients:

  • 1, 24oz. (1.5 lbs.) bag of Baby Purple Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 Tbsp. each of Kosher Salt and Course Ground Pepper)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or grease.  To save on clean up, I actually lined my cookie sheet with foil and covered in olive oil spray.  Wash the potatoes and slice in half.  Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then toss.  Once they are completely covered, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley and toss again.  Place the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Try not to eat them too quickly!

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Gluten Free Salmon Croquettes

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Last night for dinner we had Salmon Croquettes, Roasted Purple Potatoes, and Broccoli.  My children LOVE Salmon Croquettes.  Sometimes we make them out of fresh salmon and sometimes we use canned Salmon.  Some people have a thing against canned Salmon, but it cuts down on a step when making this dish and makes for a really quick dinner.  It’s also a less expensive alternative.

This recipe is made with canned, but you can always bake a 1 pound salmon fillet, crumble the salmon and then follow the recipe or break apart left over salmon you may have in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1, 14.75 oz. can of Salmon (We used Red Sockeye)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley, fresh well too
  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup oil ( enough to cover the bottom of your frying pan)
  • salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp each
Directions:
Drain the liquid from the salmon and place the salmon in a medium-size bowl.  Using a fork, break apart the salmon.
Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, to the bowl and stir until well combined.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Make sure to test your oil to make sure it’s hot.  You can touch the fork or spoon used to mix the patties to the heated oil to test.  If it sizzles immediately you’re ready to go.  If the oil isn’t hot enough, the croquettes will soak in the oil and will not be as light.
Form palm-size patties and place into the oil.
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Cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side.  Remove from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
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    This recipe makes 8 croquettes.  My kids love these with my daughter’s homemade tartar sauce.  We only had one croquette left and my husband didn’t even get one, but that’s another story for another day. Enjoy!

What’s For Dinner? 2/26/16-3/4/16

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I may not plan many things, but I’m a menu planner.  Planning my dinners a week in advance helps save my sanity.  I usually start with a few ideas and then sit down with my children to see if they have any thoughts or wishes.  While I am the final decision maker, when I include my kiddos, they take ownership of the menu and tend to look forward to the meals.  It’s not full proof, but it goes a long way in lessening dinner disputes.

We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen and we post the weekly menus.  Everyone knows what to expect.  It cuts down on those last minute trips to the grocery store because we make the menus before our weekly trip.  I’ve often had friends ask me about sharing our menus.  I usually write our menus on Friday and today I thought why not share.

I try to cook enough to have leftovers some days, so we won’t usually have 7 meals listed over 7 days.  This week we’ll be eating the following :

Friday- Salmon Croquettes, Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli

Saturday- Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, and Cole Slaw

Sunday- Pork Loin, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Honey Balsamic Kale

Monday- Leftovers

Tuesday- Red Beans and Rice with Salad and Cornbread

Wednesday- Leftovers

Thursday- Chicken Piccata

Friday- Something with Shrimp ( Every now and then I’m not super specific.)

My goal is to update the blog with recipes to go along with the menu throughout the week.

How do you plan your dinners?

 

 

 

Reminders

I have been struggling with my emerging preschooler during school time lately.  She is no longer content to sit by with busy work while I work with her older siblings.  She does a lot more lately to try and grab my attention if it isn’t given quickly. She wants her own dedicated time and she deserves it. I’ve been trying to rearrange our schedule so I can sit with her first, but this morning I was not moving fast enough for her and it led to a great deal of frustration for both of us.

Part of my frustration is my mommy guilt because I feel like I don’t do enough with her most days. I struggle not to compare what I do with her with what I was able to do with the other two when they were her age.  We played this.  We read this many books.  We spent this amount of time outside.  They had this class or that activity.  And then the clincher, they knew how to do…

But she is such a different beast.  She is much more temperamental and easily distracted. So this morning when she wanted to do her “schoolwork” I wanted to give her my full attention.  I needed two minutes, tops, to get the other two started on their independent work and she interrupted the entire time.  When I turned my attention to her and the work she chose, her first response was, “I don’t want to do that now.” Steam from my ears and deep breaths. I tried to focus her attention on her letter sounds and could feel the upset rising within me and her at all that I had not taught her yet.

I wish I could say I didn’t allow it to bother me or that I didn’t beat myself up, but that would be a lie.  While I didn’t go overboard, I did have a sense that I was failing to teach her the things she should know. The worst part was I was wondering how would I ever figure out how to help her.

Later this afternoon I called my mother in New Orleans after seeing the weather reports of Tornado watches and severe storms.  My littlest listened to her siblings ask me about the reports and about their grandmother, and when they left the room she asked a few more questions of her own. She then did something that took me completely by surprise.  As she walked by my side, she grabbed my hand and said let’s pray for Grammy and the tornados.  She recited the sweetest prayer to God asking him to protect her grandmother from the tornados and to keep her safe and all the people there.

At that moment I couldn’t help but think, “Thank you God for the reminder of what is really important.”  Of all the things I can want my children to know and learn, God is at the top of the list.  That sweet smart girl knew to go to God to ask for protection and comfort in the time of a storm. If that’s not a reminder I don’t know what is!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Love is patient,  love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others,  It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,  it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I Corinthians 13:4-7

More often than I care to admit, I don’t love the way I should.  Thanking God today for his perfect love. Grace feels good.

Blogger’s Recognition Award

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I am honored to have been nominated by Tisha at J.O.Y.Full Inspirations for the Blogger’s Recognition Award.  She writes so beautifully and has such a sweet and encouraging spirit I am humbled that she would consider me.  I am thankful to have found her blog.  When reading her site it is obvious she is a woman after God’s own heart.  At J.O.Y.Full Inspirations she gives recipes and encouragement for living gluten free.  She knows first She has words of wisdom and inspiration for moms, homeschoolers, and families.  She has a gift with words that you won’t want to miss out on.  Please stop by her blog when you can.

In keeping with the tradition of the Bloggers Recognition Award, I hereby nominate the following 15 blogs who are deserving of an award for the efforts they put in each day and for sharing their journey, wisdom, and inspiring stories:

  1. Lynz Real Cooking
  2. Cooking Up the Pantry
  3. Dairy Free Kids
  4. Emerging Adult Eats
  5. A Homeschool Mom
  6. Beauty Beyond Bones
  7. With All My Affection
  8. Mrs. Twinkle
  9. Ice Cream Magazine
  10. Cooking Without Limits
  11. How to $tuff Your Pig
  12. RachelMankowitz
  13. Dine in My Kitchen
  14. Bunny Kitchen
  15. My Berkeley Bowl

I enjoy each of your blogs and am thankful to each of you for your support. These sites have great food, inspiring posts, and fun reading.  Please stop by and visit if you have a minute.

7 Things About Me:

As part of this award, I have to share 7 things about me…so here we go:

  1. This year marks 20 years that my husband and I have been together.  We’ll be married 18.  Boy has time flown by!
  2. We were married 8 years before we had our first child. We did not believe it was possible for us to have children, but God in his perfect timing.
  3. I am an only child and people find that interesting. Having 3 children now, I’m a fish out of water.
  4. I have my children hooked on cooking shows!  Sad, but true.
  5. I sing non-stop.  It’s a little embarrassing for my oldest when it happens in public.
  6. I LOVE that my husband hand picks music to play for me when he knows I’m in a bad mood, and the family dance parties that follow.
  7. Baking soothes me.

Thank you for taking the time to hang out, read, and for sharing your support.

 

Rules for Nominees:
  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  2. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice. When considering a fellow blogger for the Versatile Blogger Award, keep in mind the quality of their writing, the uniqueness of their subject matter and the level of love displayed on the virtual page.
  3. Link your nominees and let them know about their nomination.
  4. Share seven facts about yourself.

Psalm 92:12-15

The righteous flourish like a palm tree, and grow like a Cedar in Lebanon.  They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.  In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Lord, let me obey you and walk in your will so this can be me.  Amen

Ash Wednesday 2016

The first day of Lent and I overslept.  I woke up later than I planned and immediately started thinking I’m failing my new commitments on the first day!  By the time I woke up this morning, according to my self imposed schedule, I should have already completed prayer time and exercise.

Then I heard the question in my head, “Why is that failure?” God is so faithful to remind us of his truth versus the enemy’s lies.  The truth is the only failure is giving up.  I chose not to.  Even though I was “late” I had plenty of time to sit and be blessed in his presence this morning.  I am so thankful I did not rush off to the next thing.  I was able to write down the following prayer:

Lord,

Please be with me today and silence the voice of the enemy that tells me there is no way I can succeed.  I must rest in your strength to accomplish anything you have called or are calling me to.  You have not taken away this cup.  Help me to focus on your will.  There is so much that needs to be cleaned from my heart that I didn’t even know resided there.  Lord, please bless this day of beginnings.  Amen

I fasted today for the first time in a long time.  I had intended to do a Daniel Fast this morning, but during my TAG (Time Alone with God) I felt led to go without food this first day of Lent.  My schedule for the day was truly turned upset down, but I felt calmer than I have in weeks.  I guess the word would be peaceful.  I am looking forward to this season and seeing God work.  I would not presume to think that everyday will feel like today, but I feel like God blessed my effort to not give up this morning and obey his voice.  Lord help me to listen intently for your voice and to obey quickly. Thank you, Lord, for a day of blessed beginnings!

 

About Mardi Gras…

Happy Mardi Gras ya’ll!

This has been my hardest Carnival Season to be away from New Orleans.  I haven’t lived in New Orleans in over 20 years, but so many family and friends returned home to celebrate, and I wanted to be there too. My children have fully embraced their Louisiana heritage and were almost as disappointed as I was.  Because they couldn’t share in the revelry in New Orleans, they decided to share some of the holiday with their CC classes.

I was really proud of my babies!  They told about the history and traditions of Mardi Gras and then shared one of our homemade King Cakes.  After the presentation, however, it made me sad to realize how many people outside of New Orleans really don’t know anything about the true meaning.  Many of the moms commented they had no idea it had Christian roots and thought it was merely a chance for drunken debauchery.

Many outside of Louisiana don’t realize it is a holiday that traces its origins back to medieval Europe and has been in America since 1699.  Many don’t realize Carnival Season begins with the celebration of the three Kings, or Magi, that visited Jesus after his birth on the Twelfth Night.  Or that is a family affair with parades and marching bands, tailgating and dancing, toys and coveted throws, parties, King Cake and lots of good food. All of that comes to an end on Mardi Gras Day.  A legal holiday in Louisiana since the 1800’s.

The kids and I talked a lot about what Mardi Gras meant to me growing up with people these last couple of weeks. Not just the fun, but also the feeling that we were preparing ourselves for Lent.  “What are you giving up for Lent?”, was a common question during Carnival Season.  I haven’t observed Lent myself in a few years, but all this explaining tugged on my heart.  Carnival addresses the carnal, the flesh, that Christians seek to subdue during Lent in honor of our Savior’s sacrifice.

I think it has particularly resonated with me this year because I’ve been struggling greatly with my flesh lately.  Anger, resentment, doubt, confusion, and lack of discipline have been thorns in my side that desperately need to be addressed.  I plan to observe Lent this season and it’s time of refinement.  I pray God will mold me as I seek to sacrifice, fast, and pray with a more specific focus.  I hope you all had a Happy Mardi Gras.  Here’s to Lent and a shinier you!

 “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

 

Prayer for February 6, 2016

I wrote and prayed this prayer a few days ago, but I have been feeling a strong need to revisit these words everyday. It was a plea from the heart of a struggling homeschool mother for herself and her family, but we all struggle.  I’m going to keep praying this prayer.  I felt led to share it and so here it is.  May God use it to bless you too.

Lord,

Be with us today.  Help all of us to focus on you and your will for us today.  Help us, but me especially, to be content in the place you have us in right now.  Let me not miss out on the blessings you have for me today by focusing my attention on the things I don’t have.  Help me to stay in my lane and appreciate all the ways you are molding and growing me today.  Let my attitude be pleasant and my words be kind.  Help me to bridle this wild loose tongue of mine.  Be in my heart, so that my actions may be covered in your love.  Help me to grow in wisdom and discernment.  Teach me to be more organized, but help me to remember nothing is in my control.  And when I feel out of control, let me remember to reach for your hand because only you hold me and calm it all.

Amen