Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Glaze and Pickled Carrot Slaw

This year our Spring Break travels took Jesse and I to Arizona for the first time.  We spent five glorious 80 and 90 degree days by the pool, hiking in Usery Regional Park, and sampling some of greater Phoenix’s best food finds.

One of our tastiest meals came from The Mission, a restaurant in downtown Scottsdale that specializes in modern Latin cuisine.  While their entree options expand during the dinner hour, we enjoyed two delicious selections from their lunch taco menu.  Jesse chose pineapple glazed pork shoulder while I opted for beer battered fish topped with pickled coleslaw.

I was so in love with the flavors at the Mission that I had to tackle my own version of their tacos when we returned to blustery Michigan.  I happened to have leftover Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken (courtesy of Gimme Some Oven) in my freezer that served as the base of my tacos, but pork could easily be substituted and will most likely make an appearance at our house soon.  Hope you enjoy this version until you have the chance to enjoy The Mission for yourself!

 

Chicken Tacos with Pineapple Glaze and Pickled Carrot Slaw
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Latin
Serves: 8 tacos
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken (approximately 4 chicken breasts)
  • 8 soft taco shells
  • 1 small bag carrot slaw mix
  • 1 thinly sliced jalapeno pepper
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¾ water
  • 1 TB granulated sugar
  • ½ pineapple with juice or 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 3 TB Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB cornstarch
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 2½ TB brown sugar
  • 1 handful of cilantro torn into pieces
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, bring ¼ cup of the water, the rice vinegar and granulated sugar to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in the sliced jalapeno pepper and carrot slaw mix and remove from heat. Allow the slaw to cool and pickle while you prepare the chicken. Stir occasionally so that the pickling liquid is equally absorbed.
  2. Poach and shred the chicken (or follow Gimme Some Oven's recipe for Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken if you're prepping ahead - highly recommended!)
  3. In the poaching pan or using a pan that will accommodate the now shredded chicken, prepare the glaze by whisking together the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and brown sugar.
  4. Dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup of water and whisk into the glaze mixture. If you're glaze is too thick, slowly add in the last ¼ cup of water until your desired consistency is reached (the back of a wooden spoon should maintain a smooth layer of glaze coating when you lift it from the pot).
  5. Stir in the shredded chicken and toss so that the glaze is evenly distributed. Heat on medium low for 5 minutes so that the glaze thickens a bit and adheres well to the chicken.
  6. Warm your taco shells in the microwave or oven according to package directions.
  7. Add a good scoop of chicken to each taco shell, top with the pineapple chunks, carrot slaw and cilantro.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers is a dish that I tweak each and every time I make it, but after last night’s addition of quinoa I may have found the ultimate winner.  It was super simple and tasted even better as tonight’s leftovers.  These peppers are also special because they 12540556_10107736213976994_1793732967332977404_nincorporate influences from my mom, mom-in-law, and myself.  Give them a try and I think you’ll be equally impressed!

A couple variations to consider:

  • For a tasty vegetarian version, omit the ground beef all together and double the amount of quinoa.
  • For a more moderate take on the original version of rice and beef stuffed peppers, cook a box of quinoa and brown rice mix that can be found in your grocer’s rice/couscous aisle instead of straight quinoa.
  • For a more filling option, double the amount of quinoa to three cups, and use the extra 1 1/2 cups as a bed for your finished peppers to rest on.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe is a quick and easy take on our family favorite
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bell peppers
  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1½ cups jarred salsa
  • ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown the ground beef in a small skillet and drain any excess grease.
  3. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions.
  4. Wash both peppers, remove the stems and seeds and cut each in half lengthwise so that you have four halves total.
  5. Add salsa to the ground beef and simmer on low until quinoa finishes cooking.
  6. Stir quinoa into the beef/salsa mixture.
  7. Lay each pepper half in a 9x9 glass dish and add the beef/quinoa/salsa stuffing to each.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  9. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees and add a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese to each pepper.
  10. Bake peppers for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns slightly.

 


Mission Possible: New Year’s Motto

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Tis the season for resolutions and if you are feeling burned out and uninspired by the traditional litany of: workout more, read more, eat less, etc., I welcome you to join me in a different approach to 2016. I’ve spent some time thinking about what habits, words, and mindsets I want to prioritize in the upcoming year and decided to create a personal motto/mission statement to keep myself focused and accountable.   In 2016 my alliterative mission is to be: productive, passionate, poised, prayerful, and present.

Productive: I easily fall into the trap of procrastination – my house is never cleaner than when I have 90 student essays to grade and I usually find the time to create an extra long blog post when dishes or laundry are stacked and waiting for attention. 

Passionate:  I love being a teacher, but I often find myself dwelling on the annoyances of my daily tasks…such as *ahem* grading 90 student essays.  I am restarting Seamless by Angie Smith and today’s lesson focused upon why God made the Israelites wander for 40 years in the desert before they were able to approach the promised land.  Moses’ followers were experiencing some serious highs and lows when it came to their gratitude and grumbling about the gifts and tests that God placed before them.  If complaining about eating only bread and wandering aimlessly in a hot, arid climate wasn’t looked upon with sympathy, I have a strong feeling that complaints about grading are pretty annoying to the Almighty too.  I’ve also been trying to get into a blogging rhythm for longer than I want to admit; in 2016 I want to truly dedicate myself to Smitten Mitten Living and hopefully achieve my vision. 

Poised:  Believe me this has nothing to do with standing up straight or gliding gracefully in high heels.  To this day I still remember one of the best compliments of my life from a boy who would become a good friend for years to come.  I fell into a great group of friends – two years my senior – when I was a sophomore in college.  When Brian discovered I was only 19, he uttered these memorable words, “wow, you carry yourself really well.”  I know that I’ve always acted older than my years, but having a relative stranger view it as a positive attribute makes me wonder if I would still get that compliment today.  I worry that I’m more jaded and likely to be negative, and I want my words, actions, and moods to reflect more of my gratitude for the wonderful life I am leading. 

Prayerful:  I’m just going to say it….I am an ADD Christian.  I often repeat the same requests, let my mind wander to unrelated tasks (such as… the 90 ungraded student essays that should be returned Monday), and fail to pray in the moment.  In 2016 I want to be more mindful of God’s hand in my daily life and pray to him so that our relationship is enriched.  I am hoping to follow this template initially until I find my own way.  I came across this acronym and hope it will guide me until a more natural rhythm of my own develops: P = praise God’s work, R = repent of my sins, A = ask for God to work in areas of need, and Yield = be quiet and let God’s presence provide guidance. 

Present:  When I watch TV I also play on Facebook, when I am talking on the phone the TV is usually on, when I drive I think my to do list…you get the idea.  This pattern leads me to not only shortchange my interactions with those around me, but I also notice that my mood is more cloudy when I check social media too much or watch TV rather than read at night.  By being mindful of who or what is in front of me at any given moment I hope to appreciate and recognize all of the amazing opportunities that I encounter each day.  

Thus, I pledge to be productive, passionate, poised, prayerful and present this year.

If you are suffering from a bad case of resolution writer’s block like I was these last few days, I hope you can also find your mission for 2016 and enjoy a happy and healthy new year.

 

 

On Trees and Tradition

I have a hard time citing traditions that I follow.  I have a routine for most holidays, but this past weekend when we were celebrating Christmas with my husband’s extended family, his aunt asked me what traditions I recognize each year and I drew a blank.  I ended up talking about what food we prepare, which is a tradition of sorts, but for some reason nothing stood out to me at that second.  I’ve since figured out why I was stumped, but let me digress for a few minutes into a story about this year’s Christmas tree.

I’ve always been a real Christmas tree person.  As a kid, my family would drive out to our local tree farm and peruse the endless rows of Frasier and Douglas fir trees until just the right one was selected for our home.  Add to that mixtapes of holiday songs serenading us as we found our perfect tree and a stop at the Corner Bar for hotdogs on the way home and you have an exact picture of my childhood Christmas experience.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2015 which began a four weekend marathon where Jesse, myself or the both of us would be away from home or working.  So like any sensible, modern housewife I decided to go for the shortcut and buy our first precut Costco Christmas tree.

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Our first fake tree was voted off the island…

I bought it, hauled it home, got it up and decorated it all on my own; basking in my own efficiency came in second only to the authentic evergreen smell that I remember so clearly from the past.  However, my husband’s allergies had other ideas about my Christmas accomplishment.  We waited out coughing, watery eyes, and sneezing mostly because in his own sweet words, “I didn’t want to ruin Christmas.”  In the end though it became clear that the killer was the Christmas tree in the family room with mold spores.  Our tree had made him miserable.

The Sunday before Christmas my dear sainted husband had had enough and trudged off to the store at 8 am to get our first artificial tree.  And he came back with this…

And while I had come to terms with giving up my real tree as my mother-in-law and I undecorated the allergy offender, it wasn’t going to be this Charlie Brown reject.  (Disclaimer: I love A Charlie Brown Christmas, I just don’t want his tree if I have to live with it forever).

After everyone ate breakfast, simmered down and got their wits about them, we found an albeit fake, but convincing Virginia Pine replacement at Target.  God bless Target, it saved Christmas.  And more importantly, we have a new tradition of artificial Christmas trees.  I’m happy to say that any pang of sadness I may have had when moving my real tree to the front porch was far and away overwhelmed by not wanting my husband to suffer through the holidays.

What stands out to me now as I think about his desire to not take away from my tradition and my lack of emotion over losing the real tree is that in our little family what I want more than anything is for us to form our own traditions.  For me, there was a moment as we approached our second anniversary where I really felt grounded in the fact that Jesse is my family, and it was one of the happiest moments of our time together thus far.

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Our Virginia Pine Clearance Rack Tree from Target

I think the reason that I drew a blank when asked about my Christmas traditions is that I am far enough removed from my own traditions growing up, but new enough to my life with Jesse that we haven’t formed many traditions yet.  I could pass the blame along to his career (being an RN means rotating holiday workdays), or the fact that we don’t have kids to base Christmas morning around, but the real reason is that I haven’t been intentional about considering what the two of us do and what we want to do during Christmastime.

And as ugly as the holiday allergy season has been for my new little family of two I am proud to say that there is at least one, new tradition that our family follows – I’m now a fake tree person, and I couldn’t be happier.

 




Sweet and Savory Strawberry Bruschetta Bites

SS Bruschetta Bites

Proceed with caution my friends, this little square can be your best friend or worst enemy.  Entertaining friends or need to make a quick potluck dessert?  You’ll be the hero of the night.  However, if you make this recipe when you’re home all by yourself I cannot prevent you from eating the entire batch of bites by yourself; which*ahem* may have happened one evening in the not too distant past at my house.  Enjoy and remember you’ve been warned.

Sweet and Savory Strawberry Bruschetta Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 30-35 bites
Ingredients
  • 8 oz room temperature, reduced fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 box of Triscuit crackers
  • 1 quart of strawberries
Instructions
  1. Plop the softened cream cheese and brown sugar into a bowl and cream together with either a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of your stand mixer.
  2. Rinse and hull the strawberries before cutting each berry into 3 or 4 slices.
  3. Spread a dollop of the sweetened cream cheese on each Triscuit cracker and top with a strawberry slice.
  4. Short on time? Serve the Triscuits, cream cheese dip and sliced strawberries in separate bowls and let you guests build their own Strawberry Bruschetta Bites.

 

July Bookshelf

July Bookshelf

 

While this post is dedicated to my July bookshelf I am writing and posting it at the end of August, which is stirring up both happy and humdrum feelings.  Part of me is excited and ready to return to the fall routine since I will officially report back to school next week for professional development and get to meet my kiddos after Labor Day.  Yet, I would be lying if I didn’t mention feeling blue that summer is ending.  (This blueness could be due to the fact that it’s 60ish degrees, rainy, and breezy in Michigan right now and I feel like my pool must be crying.)  It could also be that our schedule this summer was the fullest it’s ever been: seeing great friends, travelling to gorgeous spots here in Michigan, and enjoying our family time, making me both grateful and sad that it’s ending.

Okay, enough pity party, it’s time to rally.  Let’s talk about some books!

The Fortune Hunter is the second book from Daisy Goodwin and was another excellent read.  Many of the same qualities found in the American Heiress make The Fortune Hunter a compelling and engrossing read.  It’s not quite as Downton Abbey-esque, but still gives us a great glimpse into English (and Austro-Hungarian) aristocracy.  This book spoke to the History teacher in me because all three key figures–Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) of Austria, Captain Bay Middleton (a distant relative of Kate Middleton), and Charlotte Baird–actually lived, loved, and interacted with one another in the late nineteenth century.  Goodwin’s writing seems to be a hybrid of pure fiction and the novelish non-fiction writing style of Erik Larson who uses historical documents to construct compelling stories for lovers of both history and literature. Of the two Goodwin books I liked The American Heiress a bit more but I would highly recommend both.  Click here for my June Bookshelf post that includes a discussion of The American Heiress.  

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst is great for any and all of us that feel overwhelmed by commitments to our careers, families, friends, churches…I could go on and on so I’ll stop there and not stress us all out before even talking about the book.  Lysa’s fundamental philosophy is that while it may feel Christ-like to say ‘yes’ to all who ask something of us, we may actually be clogging our schedules and not making time for the ‘best yeses’ that God is directing us toward.  As I read The Best Yes I found myself wholly subscribing to this philosophy and her chapters made the process of discerning best yeses seem practical.  My only critiques would be that some of her case studies seemed a little too simplistic at times and the book itself is about 40 or 50 pages too long.  However, I think it’s a helpful approach to reducing our commitments while not reducing our relationship with God.

The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills was our book club selection for the month of July and I feel obligated to admit that while I (and a handful of others) enjoyed it, the majority of my club was not impressed.  This memoir by a Chicago Tribune reporter chronicles her time spent with sisters Harper and Alice Lee.  Harper Lee seems to be a polarizing figure of late with the publication of Go Set a Watchman, which challenges our altruistic image of Atticus Finch.  While I’ve chosen not to read Watchman, I thoroughly enjoyed The Mockingbird Next Door.  It’s a slow-paced account of Mills’ time with the Lee sisters that left me with an endearing portrait of two extraordinarily accomplished women who reminded me of my own grandmother and her sister who we affectionately referred to as ‘Aunt Dutch.’  If you are a fan of memoirs or To Kill a Mockingbird I think you’ll enjoy it as I did, however my English teacher buddies were also not fans of Mills’s writing style.  I would say to be safe this is a good title to get from the library rather than Amazon.

I am still enjoying Savor by Shauna Niequist each morning and would highly recommend it to those of you looking for a daily devotional that also instills a sense of fellowship as you read.

As always, the foundation of my book pile this month is the First Century Study Bible with notes and articles by my teaching pastor at Mars Hill, Kent Dobson.

Burgers with Tortilla Soup Dippers

Anyone else love Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla soup?  It was a favorite of ours, but unfortunately our location closed a few years ago, leaving us high and dry when craving their Tortilla Burger.  Last night I decided to recreate it (as best I could in 30 minutes) and I am happy to say that I am pleased with the results.  Plus it earned the hubby seal of approval, so it was a definite win.

I purposely made a smallish batch because we only needed enough to dip our burgers, but since there were just three of us for dinner last night I had enough left over to enjoy a bowl of soup with my Watermelon & Tomato Salad today for lunch.  If I were going to serve the tortilla soup on it’s own for 4 – 6 people I would most likely double this recipe.  Hope you enjoy!

P.S. To the salad I added mint instead of dill and used white balsamic vinegar this time, yum!

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Burgers with Tortilla Soup Dippers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 4 - 6 burger patties & buns
  • 1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper
  • 4 - 6 onion slices
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cans of chicken (5 oz each)
  • ½ tsp of kosher salt
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup picante sauce
  • ⅛ cup salsa verde
  • ½ cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. While your grill is preheating, add the cream of chicken soup, canned chicken, salt, red pepper flakes, picante sauce, salsa verde and chicken broth to a medium sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Once the soup boils, reduce heat to low (stirring occasionally) and simmer (covered) while you grill the burgers and prepare your sides.
  3. Cut the bell pepper into 4 - 6 chunks and the onion into 4 - 6 slices (depending on the number of burgers you're serving.)
  4. Coat the cut up pepper and sliced onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Once your grill is preheated, add your burgers, bell pepper and onion, flipping after about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove your burgers, onions and bell pepper from the grill and toast the interior of the burger buns for a minute or so.
  7. Stack each bun with a burger, bell pepper chunk and onion slice.
  8. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in your shredded cheese until it melts. Scoop the soup into small side bowls and present on the plate next to the burger.
  9. Dress your burgers with mustard, mayo, relish, etc. and enjoy!

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June Bookshelf

June Bookshelf

What are you reading this month?  In my other life I am a high school teacher which means I often don’t get a chance to read at the same pace that I do in the summer; although most of my non-teacher friends take more summer season vacations too, so I’m betting we all get more leisure reading accomplished in June, July, and August.  Last month I started or finished several books that I’d love to share with you if you’re looking for a good summer read to enjoy (hopefully on the beach or poolside!)

Savor is a great daily devotional that I got at the end of the school year.  In the past I began my day with Jesus Calling, but I must say I have thoroughly looked forward to starting my morning off with Shauna Niequist and a cup of coffee.  Her devotional gives me the expected dose of daily scripture, along with a nice bit of fellowship to also get my day rolling.  I first learned about Shauna watching the If Gathering this fall online.  If you haven’t seen or heard of If Equip, If Table, or If Gathering it is worth the Google search, you won’t be sorry.

The American Heiress was the perfect summer read that I was hoping to find this summer.  If you’re a Downton Abbey groupie like me, pick up this book and share the journeys of Cora Cash as she navigates high New York Society and stuffy British aristocracy in her pursuit to find a title to match her millions.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson is the best book I’ve read this year.  I first experienced his amazing nonfiction writing style in The Devil in the White City, which I devoured….but not as quickly as Dead Wake.  This newest book chronicles the final voyage of the Lusitania and all the geopolitics surrounding U.S. entrance into WWI that stemmed from her sinking.  Stay with me here….even if you’re not a 10th grade U.S. History teacher you will love this too.

Seamless by Angie Smith is an intriguing survey of the Bible as one complete story.  I am only in the second week of this study, so I’m going to hold off on a detailed discussion of it, but so far her writing style and videos are wonderfully thoughtful and relatable.  Plus she’s a Smith, so she must be fabulous.  (Abbreviated videos to accompany Seamless are available for free this summer if you’re looking for a study to do as a group or even on your own).  My best work buddy (and neighbor!) Ann and I are doing this one together, although we are a bit behind, but Angie does a nice job in her intro video of encouraging us all to go at our own pace, so really I’m just taking her advice.

And as always, the foundation of my book pile this month is the First Century Study Bible with notes and articles by my teaching pastor at Mars Hill, Kent Dobson.

Watermelon & Campari Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese

Watermelon SaladSummer is in full swing and that means it’s farmer’s market season!  This salad was created with fresh finds from our local market and our backyard garden. The best part though?  It came about spontaneously and it’s super simple to make.  I devoured it for lunch, but it would also make a great dinner side dish for your next backyard BBQ.  Enjoy!

Watermelon and Tomato Salad
 
This refreshing summertime salad is perfect for a light lunch or as a main dish accompaniment for your next backyard grill out
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • 1 package (6 - 7) Campari tomatoes
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove the rind from the watermelon, cut it into bite-sized chunks and toss into a mixing bowl.
  2. Slice each Campari tomato into 3 - 4 slices and toss into the same mixing bowl.
  3. Roll the basil leaves together and chiffonade them into thin strips, add to the watermelon and tomato mixture.
  4. Chop the dill finely and also toss into the mixing bowl.
  5. In a separate small bowl add the oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing until it's emulsified. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently.
  7. Top the salad with the feta and serve! (Note, if you toss the feta with the dressing it tends to break apart and almost disappear. I find it better retains it's presence if you add it at the end.)

 

Serving the Fruit with a Side of Bacon

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Fundamentally there are two types of bacon in this world.  If you’re my husband you refer to these bacon varieties as real and fake.  If you’re actually looking in the grocery store they are more commonly known as uncooked bacon and pre-cooked, microwavable bacon.

In the early part of my adult life the microwavable version was my go to bacon of choice.  I mean cooking real bacon involves grease spattering all over my stove, grease spilling as I drain it into a jar for “easy” disposal, and most importantly it takes a long stinking time and a watchful eye to make sure the fat melts and doesn’t burn the meat in the process.

It’s Saturday morning folks…the WEEKEND…this is too much work, am I right?  But when you fall in love with a tall, blue-eyed purist whom you vowed (literally) to place first in your life forever and ever it will suddenly hit you as it did me.  I have to make real bacon the rest of my life.

At this stage in my mental melodrama I considered objections ranging from “it’s so unhealthy, we should only eat bacon once a year” to “it’s 2015, not 1955, haven’t you read The Feminine Mystique?!”  Granted, none of these objections are actually verbalized, but I have nevertheless been a bit surly when the bacon starts to sizzle.

And then it hits me.  Serving the bacon, the real bacon is a weekly opportunity for me display great love.  “Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.”  Mother Teresa’s quote always makes me immediately think of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  

I’d been denying myself and my husband a weekly serving of fruit by grumbling over the silly bacon.  “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  While I’m sure Galatians 5:13 was directed at other more monumental actions that do not include a modern housewife’s epiphany regarding a breakfast dish, it makes me realize that the seemingly small acts of love that I engage in at home, work, or anywhere are small acts that can reflect great love.

1 Peter 10 says “Each one should use whatever gift she has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  I can genuinely say that on most days, for most recipes I truly enjoy cooking for my husband, family and friends.  It’s not epic, it’s not earth-shattering, but it’s an act of love that I can use to reflect God’s grace to those most important to me.

I clearly recognize that my internal bacon temper tantrum may not be a big deal, but what makes me pause  is that I don’t just grumble about bacon.  I grumble about a lot of things.  How quickly I forget that the minor annoyances of life still come in my God-given life.  How many servings of fruit am I missing?  How many servings of fruit am I keeping from those I love?

Every act of love has a purpose, every act of love is a part of His plan.

I forgot to buy the bacon this week.  Jesse volunteered to go to the store and buy a package this morning while I prepped the pancakes and eggs.  Then a wonderfully small act of great love took place; my husband made the bacon and the fruit has never tasted so good.