Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Crispy Baked Eggplant




Crispy Baked Eggplant
Recipe from: Pepperbowl.com


Ingredients

1 Eggplant
5 Tbsp of Corn Starch
2 Tbsp of Chili Powder
1/2 Tbsp of Salt
3 Tbsp of Bread Crumbs



Directions
  1. Slice the eggplant in 1/4 inch thick slices.
  2. Sprinkle salt on each slice and stack them as layer.
  3. Place a heavy weight on top of the stacked eggplant (I used a heavy cast iron skillet) for about 30 min to 45 min...this process will release a bitter purple(ish) water ,and also helps the eggplant get crisper while baking.
  4. Pat dry the egg plant slices with tissue or dry cloth. Make sure you remove all the black liquid.
  5. Make thin paste with salt, chili powder, corn starch by adding little water. Make sure the corn starch is not too thick. Thicker corn starch will make it little hard and chewy.
  6. Dip egg plant slices in this paste and coat them with bread crumbs. On a greased pan, arrange the slices to bake. Leave enough space in between the slices for crispier eggplant. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes in the 350 degrees in the oven, by flipping them occasionally and once the slices are crispy they are ready!


    Last week at the grocery store Kyle picked up an eggplant and asked if it was good that he had never had one before. My que to buy one for him to try, I'm like a proud mom when he tries new healthy stuff...am I the only wife that feels this way? 

    I decided I wanted to try something new with it besides the normal eggplant parm. So I breaded and baked them to go with grilled chicken for dinner last night. I was even more excited when Kyle really liked them and suggested I try it with squash next time too. Dinner or the win! And a healthy one at that! They had great flavor and I dipped mine in a little bolthouse ranch, delicious! 

      
Image Map

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Divine Direction 2 - Wisdom to Discern

If you missed my post last week introducing this short series I am doing covering a sermon series from Life.Church you can read it here. In the first post I discussed the first part of the four part series Divine Direction which covered power to become. In summary, seeking God for who we should become before asking what we should DO.

This week covers seeking the wisdom God has for us to know what we should do in life. So, if you are asking God 'What should I do God? What do you want me to do?' I hope you follow this series along. 


Divine Direction - 2
Wisdom to Discern
 
The decisions we make today determine the stories we will tell tomorrow. If you are like me and asking God what he wants you to do, all the time,  in your life then know he might simply show or tell us what to do but he will give us wisdom to make the right decisions. This is hard for me personally because I can be a very black or white kind of person and I want to know without a doubt, for sure, no looking back, without messing up what decision I am suppose to make.
 
"Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me." 1 Corinthians 16:6-9
 
"Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgement." Proverbs 4:7
 
Directional Wisdom - WALK - ASK - DECIDE  
 
If you are a follower of Jesus then he will show you the way to go. You just have to ask for that wisdom. So walk with him, then ask and then you will be able to decide. Easy right, ahh not so much. At least for me, I go back to the asking five thousand questions to God when really I just need to spend that time with him asking for wisdom. When walking with God remember there are so many aspects in our life that can help us make that walk right. Craig Groeschel, Pastor of Life.Church, talks about who you run with in life helps determine your walk with Jesus. "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." Are your friends a good influence? It is almost impossible to live the right life with the wrong friends. Do life together with followers of Christ.
 
What about what you post and read on social media? Remember social media is definitely or can be an illusion of perfection. Often we are comparing our behind the scenes with others highlight reels. I know this is a HUGE issue that I struggle personally with. I often find myself comparing my reel to other blogger's highlight reels on social media. A lot of times I will literally catch myself thinking man, if only...and then I have to put my phone down and walk away. 
 
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5
 
When you spend time with him then he will give you wisdom. He can't give it to you when you are talking to him. How open is your communication with God? For me I find my days are much better when I start the day talking to God, usually while I shower in the mornings. When I'm in constant conversation with him it is much easier to have a good day then to be in the dumps. 
 
"The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8
 
We often make plans for ourselves in our hearts but God determines our steps. If you're like me you're thinking 'What if I make a mistake?' Well, we'll get wisdom from that. God guides, coaches and watches over us with wisdom. How cool is that?! Remembering God is not always going to show us specifically (like I would desperately LOVE him to do!) what to do but he'll give you wisdom to decide.

If you would like to watch the entire sermon on Wisdom to Discern or watch last week's message on asking God who you should become, you can do so here.

I mentioned last week that I am also reading Craig Groeschel's book Divine Direction as I blog on this four week series. If you are interested there is also a devotional to go along with the series on the YouVersion bible app that I'd love for you to join me daily in doing.
 
My goal for the week is to memorize this verse: "The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8 
 
AND if you are local and would like to join me THIS Thursday at the Life.Church Jenks campus for worship night it begins at 6:30 and would love for you to go with me! If you aren't local maybe you live close to another campus, locations here, all locations are having worship night and everyone is welcome! 

If I can pray for you, please let me know how!
 
 
Image Map

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day at the Lake

Yesterday after church Kyle and I headed home to change clothes and grab the pup real quick before heading to the lake for the afternoon. It was such a pretty day that we didn't want to waste inside doing chores! We picked up lunch and had a picnic next to the water. Haddock LOVES the water, but hates bathes, so he was having the time of his life! {Now read as we don't have kids so I took a hundred pics of our dog.} 










I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend and survived the Monday blues! We are about to have record breaking high temps here in Oklahoma this week so bring on the spring fever!
 

Image Map

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: Five Spring Steals Under $50

It may still be winter outside, but I have spring on my mind! Who’s with me?! I have come across so many steals lately for lots of my favorite spring styles and wanted to share a few of my favorites! Even though adulting means no spring break for me, I've got spring fever!





I can’t get over these five under $50, hope you love them too! Have a great weekend, y'all!
 
 
Image Map

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Homemade Lara Bar - Cherry, Cashew and Date Bars


Cherry, Cashew and Date Bars
Recipe from: Craftsy.com
 
Ingredients 
1 cup of roasted non-salted cashews (Use
 roasted, it makes all the difference in the world)
1 cup of dried cherries
1 cup medjool dates (about 8-10 dates- and always use medjool dates. They are much sweeter and stickier holding the bars together)
1/4 cup of mini dark chocolate chip morsels (optional- I didn't use them on this batch)

Directions
1. Cut dates in half removing their pits.
2. Place nuts, dates and cherries in a food processor and process until your desired consistency.
3. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with waxed paper or parchment. Place fruit and nut mixture in the pan and use a piece of waxed paper or parchment to press the mixture down and spread it out. I use parchment paper just because I've found it sticks less than wax paper.
If adding chocolate, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the fruit and nut mixture and press them down into the mixture. Use your hand or and a drinking glass to even out the surface.
4. Lift the mixture out of the pan using the waxed paper lining. Use a sharp knife to cut into 18 pieces (or any size you wish- I used a heart shaped cookie cutter for this batch just to be festive for Valentine's Day. Also I found using a roller pin also helps after you have them out of the pan to smooth them out even more.)
5. Wrap pieces in parchment or waxed paper and store in an airtight container. (I also find that if you store them in the refrigerator they are less sticky and easier to handle and eat.)






These bars taste JUST like the Cherry Pie Lara Bars! They are such an easy snack to make and have on hand and super healthy. Feel free to experiment with different nuts and fruits. Just remember to always use roasted nuts and medjool dates.

Here are some other options you can try out! And feel free to add cinnamon or nutmeg to yours.
  1. Pineapple, papaya, mango, banana chips and shredded coconut paired with a mix of walnuts and almonds.
  2. Apricot and golden raisins paired with almonds. Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
  3. Cherries paired with cashews. Add mini dark chocolate chips after food processing.
  4. Apples and raisins paired with walnuts, almonds and cashews. Add a pinch of cinnamon.

If you make these, let me know! OR if you already make them. I would love the hear the combinations you guys make and if you enjoy them as much as I do!
 

 
Image Map

Monday, February 13, 2017

Divine Direction - Power to Become

This weekend we began a new sermon series at Life.Church that I have been anticipating for awhile. This series focuses on direction in our lives that God wants for us. Are you asking yourself 'What should I do?" or bet are asking God what you should do? I know I am so I'm more than thrilled to dive headfirst into Divine Direction.

A couple of weeks ago Craig Groeschel, our pastor at Life Chruch, announced his new book that had just been released to go along with the series, Divine Direction. I have read most of Craig's books and have loved them so I knew this would be one I'd certainly be purchasing. After church I went to buy my copy of the book when I was told it was buy one get one free to give away! I was so very excited because I knew this was a series that I was being led by God to share on my little space here. So, when I found out I was getting a copy of his book to give away to one of you I was even more excited! With that being said, the series started this past weekend and will go for three more weeks. I'm starting the book tonight so after I share about this first lesson I would love for one of you to follow along with me!


Divine Direction 
God Cares About 

Instead of asking 'what does God want me to do?' We should be asking 'Who does God want me to become?'
Putting who before do and why before what. 

"God's will is for you to be holy..." 1 Thessalonians 4:3

I know I find myself asking that very question to God all the time...ahh God what should I do?! So this was a slap in the face to think I can't remember the last time I really asked God what he wanted ME to BE. God will show us the answer to what when we become who he is wanting first. 

"You may think everything you do is right, but the Lord judges your motives." Proverbs 16:2
If we are out there serving others but deep down only doing it because we want people to think highly of us, then God is going to question that. We are serving but with the wrong motives which is defeating the purpose.
 

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."  Galations 1:10

"And whatever you do, whether in word or dead, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17
If you're becoming the right who, God will help you choose the right do. If you're driven by the right why, God will lead you to the right what.

Whatever you do, do it for God. In your job, in your home life, in your volunteer work, do it all for God. It is not about us, it is about conforming to Jesus and he'll guide us.

If you want to watch the first part of this series you can below from Life.Church.


As I mentioned I would LOVE to give one of you a copy of Divine Direction! If this is speaking to you and you want to follow along with the series with me then please let me know! I definitely want the copy of the book to go to someone that is feeling led to read the book and follow along while trying to find out who God wants them to become. If that is you, please shoot me an email or comment below and I would love to get the book to you!  

I only have one extra copy so it will be first come but if you are interested in purchasing Divine Direction you can do so here

AND even if you don't have the book I plan to do a  weekly recap of each series part here and would love for you to still follow along! Let's find who God wants us to be so we can be shown what he wants us to do, together!
 

Image Map