Farro Enchilada Bowl

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Hello Blog Friends– We could eat Mexican-ish food 7 days a week around here.  On one of those questionnaires you see that ask, “What 5 things do you always have in your fridge?”, tortillas would be at the top of the list.  Last night it was left over try-tip in a quesadilla with avocado and chicken fajitas is a staple on our table.

But here’s a tortillas-less bowl of Mexican flavors, topped with sour cream and guacamole. It was just right for a warm early summer supper with a cold glass of “tinto de verano” (Fresca, red wine & lemon).

FARRO ENCHILADA BOWL
2 cups farro
1/2 tsp. salt
2 chicken breasts, but to smallish bits
2 tab. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 large avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes
a couple shakes of garlic salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 can chili beans, rinsed
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen, microwave 2-3 minutes until tender.
garnish: sour cream, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cilantro

Cook the faro according to the directions on the package.  (Mine cooked with 5 cups water, 1/2 tsp. salt for 10 minutes) Drain extra water, if there’s some in the pot.

While that’s cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add in the chicken chunks, cooking until they are well browned and cooked through.  Stir in the cumin, chili powder and 1/2 tsp. garlic salt along with a couple tablespoons of water.

To make the simplest guacamole, smash the avocados along with a couple tablespoons of tomato cut to tiny pieces and a couple shakes of garlic salt.

Then layer it all up in a bowl– the farro, chili beans, corn, chicken, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes & pepitas– and tuck in!

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Daily Mercies

by Thomas Cross, line engraving, 1646

by Thomas Cross, line engraving, 1646

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“A nobel heart is a thankful heart that loves to acknowledge whenever it has received any mercy.”
—Jeremiah Burroughs  (Puritan preacher, England, 1600-1646).

Acknowledging any mercy—love that idea.  And it makes me want to be watchful for the God’s tender mercies, to see his loving merciful care each day.

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”       —Psalm 23:6

Cranberry & Candied Pecan Poke Cake

IMG_2580Hey all–It’s been a week.  So much Christmas.  We’ve been out to eat with friends every night but one this past week–Pub dinner with close friends, a quiet dinner out with J & L, who always make you feel a little wiser just listening to them, a winery dinner and performance of the Messiah with old friends… It’s been grand to sit and talk and laugh and hear Christmas plans…  Last night it was a potluck at Caroline’s.  I brought along this cake (in fact I’m eating a leftover slice right now).

It’s fruity and nutty, but nothing at all like fruitcake.  Tender white cake underneath and a swath of whipped cream on top.  The berries are tart and the pecans sweet and crunchy.  I’ll be making it again this Christmas.

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CRANBERRY & CANDIED PECAN POKE CAKE
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
water
1 cup sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
2 1/2 cups cranberries (about 1 bag)
1 1/3 cups water
1 1/2 cups peans
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 rounded tsp. powdered sugar
1 rounded tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix*
a few more cranberries
2 tsp. sugar
leaves

Make the cake mix according to the instructions on the box–mine used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and a cup of water.  Spoon the batter into a 9″x13″ baking dish or a 11″spring form pan** that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it 30 to 35 minutes, until it is lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Let the cake cool.  Then with the handle end of a wooden spoon, poke small holes all over the top of the cake.

To make the cranberry layer, Mix the cup of sugar and cornstarch in a pan and mix them thoroughly to break up any cornstarch lumps.  Then add in the 1 1/3 cup water and the cranberries and stir over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes until the berries all pop! The sauce will thicken and the berries turn soft and sweet.

Spread the berry mixture over the cake the pat it down into the holes.  Let it cool.

To make the pecan layer, put the pecans and 3/4 cup sugar into a nonstick skillet and stir over medium heat until the sugar melts into a golden color and coats the pecans.  Keep stirring or it can burn!  Turn the pecans out onto a piece of foil and let it cool.

Then break the sugared pecans into smaller pieces and layer over the cranberry layer.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix until it’s stiff. And then spread it over the pecan layer.  Put it in the fridge for 30 minutes or more to set.

Garnish: Mix a handful of cranberries with a couple teaspoons of sugar in a plastic bag and pile them in the center of the cake– finish off with non-poisonous*** (!) leaves from your yard.

*The pudding mix sets the whipped cream, so even out of the fridge it will hold up firm.
**I like to use a springform pan because you can lift the cake out of the pan on to a plate to serve it up pretty.
***We have lemon geranium in the back yard with these leaves and lots of mint.  Check to see if your leaves are good to use.

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Waiting

Elliot-Elisabeth-3“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”

Elisabeth Elliot, Christian author, speaker, missionary to South America (1926-2015)

Hello friends– I loved reading this.  It helped me know what to do with all those uncertainties, my unanswered questions, when life get complicated.  It’s a comfort to know I can lift up my heart to God–all the while I’m waiting.

“Wait in hope for the Lord; for he is our help and shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”   Psalm 33:20-21

The Opposite of Busy

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“Busyness is the enemy of spirituality.  It is essentially laziness.  It is doing the easy thing instead of the hard thing.  It is filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attentions to God’s actions.  It is taking charge.”  –Eugene Peterson  (American clergyman, author of 30 books, scholar, poet)

Hello there blog friends–  When I ran across this thought from Eugene Peterson, it was like he had just written it for me (and few of you other busy-bodies out there). Why is it so easy to fill my time with all things I think I need to do and find so little time to sit silent before God?  It’s summer and I’m hoping to be less busy, more open to God’s call on my time and attention in the days ahead…

Chili Tilapia with Avocado Relish

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Hi all– This is just another example of “everything tastes better with avocado.”  The spicy chili tilapia has just enough spice and the smooth avocado sets it off just fine.  With a bright salad and a hearty chunk of bread it’s a quick dinner on the table.  Hope you like it as much as we did…

CHILI TILAPIA WITH AVOCADO RELISH
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
2 tilapia filets
1 tab. olive oil
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1 tab. red onion, chopped fine
1 tab. red pepper, chopped fine
garlic salt to taste

Mix the chili powder, salt and cumin together in a shallow dish.  Heat the oil in a pan.  Dredge the tilapia into the chili mixture on both sides and cook it in the hot pan for 2 to 3 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the fish). Remove from the pan and keep it warm on a plate in a low oven.

Gently stir together the avocado, red onion, pepper and garlic salt in a bowl.  Set out the fish and top it with the avocado.  Serve up warm.

Unchanging

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I love this thought, when life itself is laced with unexpected, sometimes unwanted changes.  God, our eternal God, is the same, as loving, as merciful, as as faithful as ever.

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thank you for the quote–Jesus-is-for-you.tumblr.