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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Chickpea Broth Soup



Do you cook beans and legumes from scratch? Don't toss the cooking liquid when you make chickpeas! Drizzle in olive oil and a good sprinkle of salt when you simmer them*, then use the cooking broth to make a summer-y soup. Read on to find out how.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

My Morning Smoothie


They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I think that may be true for some but not for others, especially with intermittent fasting and time restricted eating these days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Lavender Iced Tea


There are some words I really love, and they usually have the letter "v" in them. Violin, olive, lavender. My daughter's name, Evelyn. They sound soothing and beautiful to me.

Today I have a lavender iced tea for you. It couldn't be easier. I suppose you can buy lavender at a grocery store or at a farmer's market, or you could get a plant and put it in a pot or in your garden. Many people already have it in their garden and they would likely be happy to give you a couple of springs.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Spain Travels: Madrid and Toledo + What to Pack for a Picnic

Waaaaay back in February, we traveled around Spain before the terms Covid or social distancing were in our everyday vocabulary. For part of our travels, we were with dear friends who were passing through Spain on their way back to Uganda, where they live.

For reasons due to a broken computer, Covid anxiety and busy-ness with life in general, this post is quite delayed. But the pictures are worth sharing and it is fun for me to relive my Spain experiences in looking at them. I hope you enjoy the photos. At the bottom, I will link to a couple of Spanish recipes that I am eager to try, as well as provide tips for what to pack for a picnic. Click here to jump to those recipes.

We were the American tourists who played tag with our kids in Plaza Mayor

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Gratitude Series Part V

Just a reminder - these are past posts from social media. I am behind in finishing this series, but this is the final one and soon I will move on to my backlog of Spain posts.

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 


Day 41: I’m grateful for celebrations. Today I tried a new, delicious recipe for basque-style codfish stew. We made brownies. This afternoon we will play games. We are having a party because...WE CAN TAKE OUR KIDS OUT TOMORROW!! We are super excited. We even saw someone putting caution tape around the playground in the park across the street, so we are hoping that the park will reopen but with the playground off limits. How crazy is it that we are excited about a playground being blocked off so we can use the park? It’s funny how my perspective shifts to be thankful for little, separate things. As in, being allowed out is wonderful. Being able to go in the park is even more wonderful.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Gratitude Series Part IV



Just a reminder - these are past posts from social media. 

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 

Day 30: I’m thankful for my body. Hear me out. Most of my life, I wanted to be different. I wanted to be skinny. Like, no-hips-lanky-size-4 skinny. My dear mom always told me I was strong. I misinterpreted that to mean big. Thanks to some major emotional work over the years (lots of prayer, Celebrate Recovery, counseling, restoring certain relationships, and forgiveness) I have been able to embrace who I am and how I was created. Some activities have also helped: running, yoga, strength training and even gymnastics. When I am moving, I am aware of my strength and physical abilities. This helps me be strong emotionally, too. And I also recognize the simple things my body does each day: carry me from one room to the other, cook dinner, pick up my kids, hug my husband. God made me strong, and my strength is in Him. I am thankful for my body.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Gratitude Series Part III




Just a reminder - these are past posts from social media. 

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 


Day 21: When I was a teenager in Massachusetts, my mom planted red geraniums in the brick planters on either side of the front door. I loved how cheerful they looked against our blue house. She did it every summer at my insistence after that. Now, wherever I go, I buy geraniums. I’ve switched from dark red to coral red. They are dependable flowers that are easy to grow, even through the winter if you have a sunny window. Their color brings me joy and helps me feel closer to nature. I am thankful for geraniums.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Gratitude Series Part II


Hello everyone. Covid is still taking over the world whether we like it or not. We are getting through as best we can, but it's hard when many aspects of life are not the way they used to be.


On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. 



Day 14: I am thankful for our terraces. If we didn’t have them, I guess we would be hanging our heads out the window to get sunshine. We eat out here, play, do lessons, and relax. Our terraces make the lockdown manageable.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Gratitude Series Part I

I’m starting a thankfulness series. Day 6 here in Spain of the quarantine, and gratitude makes a big difference. I am thankful for the beauty around me. There are flowering trees close enough to touch, and the morning light shining on the dew drops of this particular bloom made me catch my breath.

Hello everyone. Covid is still taking over the world whether we like it or not. We are getting through as best we can, but it's hard when many aspects of life are not the way they used to be.

On day 6 of the lockdown here in Spain I started a gratitude series on social media. I would like to share it here, too, as some of you are not on social media. I will post eight days or so at a time until day 50. All of these gratitude posts are from during the strictest quarantine measures in Spain over March and April 2020. At the end of each post I will include some links to favorite recipes I have made recently. (Head below to link to two seafood stews and a buttery caper sauce.)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Cooking in Confinement: Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Ok, so maybe we aren't all in confinement anymore. But, at least here in Spain, restaurants are not open yet (although that changes tomorrow, yay!!). Have you all settled in to a habit of cooking and baking at home? I have. Oh, wait. I was already doing that.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Cooking in Confinement: Vegetarian Recipes + Beans

My favorite black beans. Use them for anything.

Hello my friends. How are you holding up? Last time I shared some hearty carb-y recipes. Today I have some vegetarian links at the bottom of some of my favorite veggie heavy recipes, but first I have a recipe for black beans. Let's get started.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Cooking In Confinement: Carbs



 These are interesting times, aren't they? As you know, I'm living in Spain for the year, which is under lockdown thanks to coronavirus COVID-19. It seems that other parts of the world are beginning to follow suit. Thankfully, we are at least able to get out occasionally and go grocery shopping. I have been cooking through some recipes lately, and wanted to share some that I liked with you. Today we are focusing on carbs. Because what is more comforting in times like these than carbs? Just be sure to keep a balanced diet. ­čśĆ



Friday, March 6, 2020

Ronda


The iconic bridge connecting the old and new halves of Ronda
On a rainy Saturday morning, we left our apartment to board a bus to Ronda (pronounced Rohn-da), home to an iconic bridge connecting the two halves of the town and a bull ring. We arrived at noon. Our check in time for the Airbnb was at four. We had some time on our hands.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Portugal: The Northern Part

View from up in the mountains of Northern Portugal
We headed north to a national park called Peneda-Ger├¬s.  A windy mountain road led to the house we stayed in, which was a renovated basement with the owners living above. A steep driveway led to the entrance. The owner advised us not to leave the car parked at the bottom of the drive, as morning frost would make it difficult to get out in the morning. After unloading our suitcases and touring the house, Justin revved the little standard transmission car up the driveway.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Portugal: Óbidos

Foz do Arelho Beach in Óbidos
This is a continuation of our Portugal travels during Christmas and New Years. 

We left our basement apartment in Lisbon for an airy house in the countryside of ├ôbidos. It was a beautiful setting, complete with farmlands, a lagoon in the distance, and a little caf├ę/market up the street. Soon after arriving, I walked up the street to buy some food for the next day or so. The little one room shop had everything we needed, and I couldn’t believe how cheap it all was. Fruits and vegetables, bread, some meat, beans, and nuts were under 12 euro.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Portugal: Lisbon


Christmas day sunrise
Our family excitedly packed up on Christmas Eve and headed to the train station. We were going to Portugal! What an adventure. We would pretend to be Santa, traveling over night to bring Christmas cheer! We took the train to Málaga, where we walked to the nearby bus station. Our bus to Portugal was scheduled to leave at 9:35 pm. We waited in anticipation.