Gratefully Delicious

Gratefully Delicious

I am thrilled to bring you my most favorite recipes for the holiday season! I am grateful to have these beautiful recipes from many amazing individuals and resources and I hope they make your festivities lighter and more gratefully delicious! I am so grateful for every single one of you and your suport in this blog. Happy Holiday’s!

Homemade Pasta:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

4 eggs

on the counter throw flour in a pile with the salt and make a hole in middle. crack the egg in the well. using a fork stir and beat eggs keeping the well in place. start to stir the doe. Knead Dough until firm and elastic. (about 10 min.)

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Using a rolling-pin roll dough out thin and then roll the into a spiral log shape. use a sharp knife and cut 1/4 wide strips. unroll the doe for fettuccine!

Cook pasta for two the three min in boiling water.

 

I top with a homeade cheesy topping and eat!

Greatest green bean casserole:

  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Trader Joes Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) any style Green Beans, drained
  • 1 1/3 cups French’s Crispy Fried Onions, Original, divided
  • Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup Crispy Fried Onions and (optional) 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until hot. Stir.

  • • For a kick of spice, double the black pepper in this recipe to 1/4 teaspoon and prepare as directed or substitute white pepper.• To feed a crowd, double the recipe and prepare in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Use an entire 6-ounce container of Crispy Fried Onions, reserving 1 1/3 cup for the topping. Increase cooking time to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Grandma’s Apple Crumble Crisp:

Dust pie pan with butter and slice apples in bottom very thin. dust with cinnamon and a touch of sugar.

Topping:

In a mixing bowl combine

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 cup of oats

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 TB of cinnamon

Eventually distribute topping mixture over apples

Bake @ 340 for about 30 min

Mema’s Spiced Tea:

1 1/4 cups lipton sugar sweetned decaf lemon flavored ice tea mix. (if using stabdard instant tea use 1 oz tea and 1 cup sugar)

lemonade mix to make 2 quarts (I use counrty time)

1 tsp. ground cinnion

1 tsp. ground cloves

Mix well and leave in a pretty jar for people to use. Use 1 1/2 to 2 tsp with hot water to make tea.

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Welcome Our New Writer!

Welcome Our New Writer!

With great pleasure and excitement I am pleased to announce the exciting news of adding another writer to this site!

At six feet and with a smile that melts anyone, he is GQ in the flesh. The one and only “Stevo”. We have been married for over 11 years and as he is an excellent leader, speaker and writer we are joining forces to bring you the top tips and tricks in creating the exceptional life.

His focus will be more on spiritual growth, “man-ly” things, and on relationships. I am pleased to share the platform with him and give him the due respect and space for his ideas and thoughts to shine. To give you, our readers, clarity in being a person on fire for the things that matter most.

He and I (together) are passionate about marriages. We have been working with couples for over six years to fan the flame for a firm foundation and passionate life as a team. He will be giving all kinds of tips and ideas on creating opportunity for you to thrive and perform at a higher level in all of your endeavours, and relationships.

Steve likes to golf, take our kids to the lake, grill out, “Cheers!” everyone, make a priority of date night, have a great looking lawn, give with abandon, and laugh a lot. He has been blogging as a solo writer for some time now and we feel its time to join forces and create ease for our followers. He is a rock star when it comes to content and I know each and every one of you is going to be so inspired by what he brings to the table.

Welcome aboard Steve! I’m thrilled to be starting this part of our writing! You are my fairy tale.

With Heels and Heart,
-Kate

“Being engaged is a way of doing life, a way of living and loving. It’s about going to extremes and expressing the bright hope that life offers us, a hope that makes us brave and expels darkness with light. That’s what I want my life to be all about – full of abandon, whimsy, and in love.”
Bob Goff, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

We will both be blogging monthly and as a bonus I personally just launched a You Tube channel as well, for those who are interested in getting further coaching tips and tricks for life.

TIA

TIA

My husband and I have recently started reading some books on being strong parents. What the role of that looks like and how it shapes healthy adult children. While going through this I also had the privilege of going to a place where I visited a group of kids who did not get that kind of a start in life.

A mission trip to an orphanage in Africa for 10 days. It was incredible. I originally went to meet up with some friends and see what they have been doing for almost three years. They are called short-term missionaries – although three years seem a long time for me. They had sold their house, gave their dog away, and closed up shop on long-term careers.

In just 10 days, I came home with a heart cry for Everybody Always and making sure I have an outward focus. These people know just what it’s all about.

Those that are there for extended times longer than even three years but indefinitely have given up the luxuries of air-conditioner and paved roads. These people risk snake bites that can kill you in 45 min, own dogs that are trained to fight lions, and the malaria and TB diagnosis is high and likely. All of this so that they can save babies from the rivers, trash bags, and the abusive homes in the area.

Strong mothers create strong sons. Strong fathers create strong daughters. You put them together and you create a strong tribe that will be a force for Jesus and a generation for change! The people who have chosen to be the Mother and Father to theses little souls are making ripple effects that they themselves will never fully see. To them that is not the point. They are doing beautiful work! I saw what life is all about. Loving, serving, unity, sacrifice.

I got to Africa after more than 15 hours on an airplane. I thought I was going to lose my mind before we even had stepped foot onto Africa soil! It is SO SO long. I am spoiled when it comes to air travel since my father fly’s for a living. Walking straight out on tarmacs, no security lines, no weight checks for your suitcases and posh leather chairs that fully recline…Now that is how to fly!! But alas not our flight. I knew we were in for a unique experience before we even landed. A wildlife ranger was sitting behind us explaining the effects of poaching and rare animal extensions.

That first night there, jet lagged and spinning, we dove into some pizza at a large table and were debriefed on what the trip would look like. A half eaten chicken was given to our waitress. She was beyond grateful. Here was this person serving us and she took tips in the way of food. Half eaten and pulled apart. No food is ever wasted. I was in awe. This was a nice place, and people were scrapping for the leftovers of anything.

They have Joy in all circumstances. There is so little and yet they love what matters. Here in the states we don’t even really understand second world problems and we are all so discontent. There is no food banks or shelter for people to go to. You just go days without food and you walk over an hour each way for your water. The church feeds people every Sunday. It reminded me of the verse in Acts where all the saints were in unity and they fed and clothed each other to survive. Should we not be doing this too?

My shock of the trip was not that I was taken with the children at the orphanage. The trajectory of these little people is forever changed for the better. I knew that loving these kids would be easy for me and I would fall head over heels with them. I wanted to take many of them home with me! Four….or maybe Six. Oh, but what about eight! Could I handle 10 kids? 😉

What surprised me was the heart I had for the workers and the teams of people behind the organization. The Aunties and Uncles. The Swazi people. Who some of them bus in every morning to work with these children. They work hard to be an inspiration for others and to feed their own families. I loved these people and what they represented and stood for. For the energy they carved out of thin air to make something better.

I had one of them look me straight in the eyes and ask “When are you coming back?” As I swallowed my tears I looked straight back into her hope and answered “I don’t know. It’s a long way and my family needs me right now.”

My husband and I are continuing to pray over the emotions we now have for this organization and for the bigger role we are supposed to play with our world. We are not suppose to be about building our own kingdoms and forsake the greater cause.

As Jesus explained, the right things have to die so the right things can live–we die to selfishness, greed, power, accumulation, prestige, and self-preservation, giving life to community, generosity, compassion, mercy, brotherhood, kindness, and love. The gospel will die in the toxic soil of self.

 

What are you doing that is bigger than preserving your self?

A beautiful life does not just happen, it is built daily by prayer, humility, sacrifice and love.
Anonymous

 

Taking it Seriously

Taking it Seriously

I had a friend recently encouraged me. Well I understood that she was trying to encourage me…
The person made a comment to try to encourage me in my role as a mother. I was feeling down and very much unqualified for the large task of creating a life quipped and taught the beautiful nature of Christ’s love. The comment when first said sounds good and is a typical comment. It is often said in my circles to try to release guilt or control, that we as parents don’t actually have in the first place. The comment is:

“Your kids are not a reflection of you.”
The point of the comment is to release you of feelings that you have the ultimate control. That it’s not your fault and that it doesn’t mean you are a bad mom. That choice is involved and they may still choose to go a different path despite all your amazing work.
I strongly disagree with this statement. We can make a difference. To me this is my generations copout to our calling as parents. And yes its a calling! This is not just another role we put on. This is not the time to give ourself a pass and call it “grace”. My children are reflections of me. All the way down to the reflection of the sinful nature that flows through us all – they are reflections.

Now is the time to step up to the ministry of motherhood, to encourage and equip our children. To realize that we are shaping the next generation, and it is our responsibility and that we can and will create it for better or worse. That is our responsibility.
We must go back to the biblical truth’s of motherhood. It is said that all scripture is for teaching and correcting (2 Timothy 3:16) and that it doesn’t return void (Isaiah 55:11). I believe that what I do, matters and that I must be about commitment and love. Always. I am not allowed to give my kids a pass. “oh kids, will be kids”. I’m not allowed to give myself a pass in the statement of “what they do is not a reflection of me”. Because it is. Every single thing absolutely is. That doesn’t mean I let it define me….God does that. (and that is another blog but, responsibility is responsibility.

Titus 2:4 so that they may encourage the young women to tenderly love their husbands and their children,  to be sensible, pure, makers of a home [where God is honored], good-natured, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
God has called us to The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, and the sum of ministry] entrusted to us [as a treasure]. We are supposed to be reliable and faithful mothers – so that we will also be capable and qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

Sally Clarkson says it perfectly

“its easier sometimes to tell myself, “we do our devotions, we go to church, they memorize scripture. That’s all they need. I do enough.” but it’s not enough. what they really need is my life, my heart, my touch, my love, my patience, my correction, my gentleness, and my encouragement. They need me to be able to be there during the many teachable moments of each day, transforming them into discipling moments because of my spiritual intent for their lives.”

Its simple. Be Faithful and reliable to what we have been entrusted with. To be available in a world that says we must do and be a thousand things but not present.  If we do this it is to show them it’s not perfection but my time that matters. Let us remember as mothers to keep it simple. Simple isn’t easy. In fact its the opposite.

It is so very hard to stay faithful and to stay connected in a world that says to be more complicated is to be more fulfilled. Living simply in the now and in the hard times of training and tantrums is to reveal the most beautiful and definitely the most peaceful way to live. It shows them and the world that I will not stick them in front of a screen, or project, or distraction but, that they mean more. Their soul means more. It allows us to create and to make a difference, where it matters the most. For the next generation.
My mother did this the absolute best. I am grateful for her training, and for choosing the hard road of being present, of living simply with the convictions of God’s Word and His purpose for our lives. Her dedication to being faithful with what was in front of her is the reason the picture of her kids (the five of us above) are alive in Jesus.
Happy Thanksgiving. May you be strengthened in your own ministry of motherhood.

Circle of Life

I live next door to a house that attracts certain people. It’s a small house. No yard, basement or second floor. It has wheel chair accessibility in all the doors.

Recently an older lady moved out and another one moved in. She’s old. She has lived a whole life and I always wonder about her story as I’ve only grabbed ahold of a few bits and pieces. She has grey hair and shuffles and most of the time I struggle to understand her, (I think she wears dentures).

It had been a rough day for me. The heat had still yet to dissipate over Atlanta as I walked my children to the mailbox. Something to do in an already rough morning. Honesty I just wanted to check out, to put them in front of the tv or make them take a morning nap. And there she was. Heading out on the arm of a nurse that comes to her house everyday. The nurse that makes sure she hasn’t fallen and that she’s eating.

My daughter being the social butterfly walks right over to talk. I don’t know if it was the heat that day, the exhaustion factor or the plastic sparkly jewelry of my daughters contrasting next to the bathrobe of the older person, but the contrast in front of me was striking. It was also, beautiful.

Here it is in front of me. ALL of life. In that moment I saw everything and wanted to grab hold of every blazing hot second of that crazy rough toddler day. “Soak it in, Kate.” I told myself. “Because in a blink of an eye, that’s it. from 3 to 30 to 85.”

I ran back into my house chasing toddlers and grabbing sippy cups. The little old lady shuffled slowly back into hers. I had laughs and tantrum’s and piles of laundry to deal with the rest of my day. She had a hair appointment and tv, to finish hers. The stories she tells have been interesting but it’s also a reality check that the stories she tells are always over while mine are still in the making.

What’s my point? What are you griping about, frustrated over, or just plain over looking that through the eyes of another person might be treasure on earth? I know that little old lady would kill to be back in my shoes. Lets not miss the beauty of the mess. The reality of our fleshy, physical existence. It’s what makes us human. It’s Christ incarnate that meets us in those moments. And it’s those moments that are the most important.

Soak it in. Relish. Treasure. Live. Feel. Adore.  Don’t miss one moment!

May the hard days, and the rough days, and the mundane days of our existence be the place where we create faith, beauty, love, hope, and our very own stories. A life marked by God’s grace and goodness.

“The spiritual world is connected to the physical world. The common factor connecting all things is true love.” – sun myung moon

Keep it simple

Keep it simple

My daughter is tuning three at the end of the month. I can not believe my baby is three! With the event of my son turning one this last April and the year before both my hubby and I had big milestone birthday’s. We have really hit it out of the park when it comes to celebrating. Which I love! I love getting to say “Horray!” for being in my life, for being one year older, for just being alive!

However, parties can get out of hand and so we have opted to go a little smaller this year for our three-year old. I’ll admit it is hard to keep it small for my miracle baby’s b-day but I am trying. Its been a very busy summer and I am loving having things come to a steady stream of normal and routine before the rush of back to school, holiday’s and a more full calender.

With the summer coming to a close and the thoughts of keeping it simple in this crazy heat I thought some ideas on making life fun at home in the ordinary would benefit some of my reader’s.  Some days it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. I do love every minute of it but for my sanity some of these ideas have been so much fun, and helped me live in the moment. They have helped me live more simply.

  1. Finger paint in the tub! Strip the kids down and let them make a mess. Once they are done rinse off everything. No mess!
  2. Paper plates are a must in summer time! #nodishes
  3. Crockpot meals
  4. Tents; inside the house! Staying bug and heat free is tons of fun!
  5. Dance party!!! blast some music and go to town
  6. Hide and seek, bubbles, and play dough are all old classics
  7. Whip up vanilla wafers with some butter smash in a pan, whip up one package of cream cheese and two cups of coconut non dairy whip cream, slice some peaches thinly and layer, freeze 4 hours!! Yum!!
  8. Make time for date nights and enjoy the last of the longer nights!
  9. read a “Fun” book

Summer Cool Off!

Summer Cool Off!

As the heat comes into full swing and the days are at there longest I have enjoyed less cooking and more ease when it comes to the kitchen. I have enjoyed some wonderfully refreshing drink recipes in place of long hours making big casseroles or stove stop recipes. we are grilling a lot and let’s be honest doing a lot more salads and crock pot these days.

As a mom, a business launcher, full-time home manager, blogger, and lifestyle coach my life is busy and anything that makes it simpler is my best friend! Thing’s that can stream line things and bring a little fun into this very busy summer I am all for! The moments that are giving me a little time to breathe I’m wanting to gravitate toward some fun drink sprite and refreshing cocktails. I am a water girl thru and thru and hardly deviate from the plain old water in glass – no ice. When I do want something different Im all for going all out and making big batches of it to store or to pass out at a party. Because once again its easier and saves me time! For those who want just want a single glass of something the last two recipes are for you!

I hope you enjoy!

Southern Breeze (from southern living)

1 cup sugar

7 cups water

1 envelope of unsweetened blue raspberry lemonade mix

1 (6 oz) can frozen lemonade

1 (46 oz) can unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled

1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale

pour first four ingredients in ice cubes freeze.

mix pineapple and gingerly. serve over frozen cubes

 

Festive Fruit Punch  (from a wedding coordinator)

Dissolve 4 cups sugar into six cups of boiling water let cool

Add: 1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 large can of pineapple juice

1-2 liters of sprite

puree 4 large bananas or add container of purred strawberries

serve cold

 

Bourbon smash

6 fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed

1 tablespoon sugar

1 small lime wedge

3-4 mint or basil leaves

smash or muddle together in glass

add crushed ice

1/4 cup bourbon

 

Raspberry Champagne

two raspberries

splash of Chambord liquor

fill glass with chilled Champagne