Friday, August 27, 2010

ARROZ CON POLLO (Chicken and Rice)

1 lb. chicken breasts
4 T. butter
season salt, pepper, garlic salt (to taste)
2 (5oz.) package saffron-seasoned yellow rice
1 can whole kernel corn (drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed & drained)
1 (16oz.) jar salsa
1-2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Boil chicken breasts, butter, season salt, pepper, and garlic salt in 6 c. water until fully cooked.  (Approx. 20 minutes for boneless breasts and 40 minutes with a bone.)
Cut up chicken into bite size pieces, reserving chicken broth. 
Cook yellow rice according to package directions using the reserved chicken broth. 
In a large pot (or crock pot), mix chicken, cooked rice, corn, beans, salsa, and cheese.  Add the remaining chicken broth to the empty jar of salsa.  Cook until heated through, adding remaining broth as needed to keep the rice mixture moist. 

I figured since I was posting a recipe today, I would use the one that we are having for dinner this evening.  Our family enjoys this as a main dish.  However, we often eat this on soft tortilla shells with sour cream.  Either way, it is a delicious Mexican dinner that is quick and easy to clean up!  You can add sauteed onions and peppers or fresh tomatoes as you wish.  Great to make when having friends over for dinner.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rise and Shine 1 Corinthians 3:11-12

This morning, my husband and I were discussing the difference between "morning people" and "night owls".  You see, he is "one of those".  And I, most certainly, am not!  My mother knows exactly what I'm talking about because she too is very much a morning person.  You know the kind; they wake up with a cheerful song and expect you to be just as enthusiastic as they are.

Or, maybe as a morning person you have to face the frustrations of living with a night owl.  10 o'clock rolls around and we're up for a game of Scrabble.  Or how about a ride around town.  You look at "us" as though we've lost our mind while you are making your preparations for bed.

Our discussion this morning led me to a realization.  I had far too long used the excuse of "I'm just not a morning person" to dictate my choice of behavior.  Do I greet the morning with a cheerful song?  No.  Will I ever?  Probably not.  But does that give me an excuse to be grumpy?  Absolutely not! 

James 1:14 reminds us that we are tempted by our own fleshly desires.  If, when I wake up, I make the decision to live for my flesh, then that is the man I will feed.  If, however, I choose to ask The Lord to use this day to serve Him, I will feed the new man (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

How we allow the morning, or evening, to rule us will most certainly "rule us".  Don't allow excuses to control and dictate your behavior.  Why do we sin?  Because we allow our fleshly man to control us.  Or, because the enemy tempts us and we allow that temptation to take root and grow.

Learn to greet the morning with a smile in your heart.  No need for a cheerful song or sprint around the block.  Just an attitude of gratitude for a brand new day to serve Him!

How is your attitude each morning? 
What needs to change?
The "blame game" is over.  Now it's up to you!

Lord, thank you for revealing to me this area of sin I have allowed to control me.  Forgive me for excusing this behavior and have mercy on me as I begin each day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mocha Chip Scones

Mocha Chip Scones

1/4 c. brewed coffee
2 T. heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten (separately)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. Bisquick
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. white chocolate chips
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1 T. heavy cream
coarse sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a small bowl, combine the coffee, cream, 1 egg, and vanilla.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine baking mix, sugar, white chocolate chips, and chocolate chips.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and work into a crumbly dough.  On a lightly floured surface, form dough into a 9 inch disk.  (1/2 inch thick)  Cut into 12 wedges and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Combine the 1 T. cream with the egg.  Brush scones.  Drizzle coarse sugar over scones. 
Bake for 18-20 minutes.

These are a family favorite!  I would often prepare these for our youth on Sunday mornings and they were commonly referred to as the "giant chocolate chip cookies".  Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Role Change 1 Corinthians 10:23-33

I was quickly reminded this morning, as I was reading my devotional, of what my purpose is for this time of my life.  For the past two Sunday evenings, our church has been challenged to evaluate what our purpose is here and now, and what our goals are for the future.  I had allowed the past few days to become pretty discouraging as I was reminiscing about the "good ole days".  Days that I'd spend the afternoon preparing for friends to come and eat dinner or dessert and hang out for the evening.  Whether swimming in the pool at our apartment, sitting in our cozy living room playing board games, or preparing to help train a young married friend some basic cooking skills, we were having fun! 

Then, our focus shifted to youth.  My husband is a full time youth minister and we have been enjoying pouring our lives into that ministry!  I remember the days of hanging out at our local coffee shop and playing Scrabble with the high school girls.  Or having sleepovers and staying up late chatting. 

However, this year's challenges have required me to focus even harder on our four children as we know The Lord has called us to home school them again this year.  All of this "change" and reminiscing had led me to have a sort of  pity party within.  Those days of staying up late playing games and hosting dinner parties may be gone.  But, as I was reading this morning from 1 Corinthians10:31 ,  I was reminded that the "good ole days" is nothing more than a role change!  Presently, my focus is to school our three older children and love on our 8 month old. 

Role changes are required as we grow older.  But the art of service remains the same.  Whether hosting parties, cooking for friends, or teaching my children, it should all be done "for the glory of God".  How about you?  Are you experiencing the aches and pains of a "role change"?  Maybe you have been called to enter the work force to help out your family.  And you don't WANT to!  Or, maybe God is leading you to stay home and you don't WANT to give up your job.  Are you being led to start a new ministry of your own, or join one that is presently meeting your needs?  Whatever you are facing today, do it all "for the glory of God".

What is your focus?
Have your "roles" changed?
Are you wallowing in self pity or living in the past?
If so... learn from this verse and CHANGE!

Thank you, Lord, for revealing this area of sin in my life and need for change.  Guide me as I accept this "role change" and embrace it as a treasured gift from You! 

The Title

Espressons is not a typo.  As many of you know, I love espresso drinks!  Cappuccinos and lattes are quite an obsession with me, and my secret desire is to someday own my own coffee shop.  With that clarification stated, grab your favorite espresso drink and sip while you read!

Getting Started

This adventure began many years ago as I was encouraged by my parents, teachers, and friends to begin writing out my thoughts.  Many miles and years have led to more nudging from my husband to pursue this journey.  Yesterday, as I sat to read my devotional, I was encouraged and convicted all at once.  After journaling my thoughts, I received a phone call and email from two separate individuals which led to the pursuit of this blog today!  Little did those individuals know their challenges were exactly what I had written about that very morning.  The Lord used that to remind me my purpose for this time in my life was to share my experiences (good and bad) with those around me and He could use that to encourage them. 

I have also been asked by several people if I would ever consider writing a cookbook.  Well, that is in the works as well!  But, for now, I will also be posting recipes on this site for you and your family to enjoy.

My prayer is that this blog will lead you to the Jesus I serve if you do not know Him personally.  And if you do, that you'll be encouraged by the words He gives me to share.