Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thank goodness for Pinterest...

Kids were sick all last week with the flu...and now I have a lovely head cold. Ugh.  Would love to spend the majority of my life in bed but being a working Mom doesn't allow for that behavior much does it.  When all those balls are juggling up in the air and I am feeling nasty my creativity goes right out the window....then comes Pinterest!

Have to share something hilarious (especially if you live nearby).  I have seen a billboard nearby...

Did you do a double take too?? Every time I pass it I think that it is suggesting that Pinterest is a cure for depression, anxiety and other problems! Hilarious.  Pinterest does cheer me up usually! But I don't think it's a medically recommended treatment! (For those of you who aren't from west Michigan, Pine rest is a hospital and outpatient facility servicing psychological and emotional issues.)

Anyways Pinterest provided me with two different meals this week that I wanted to highlight and review because they were great and allowed me to be on "Auto-Pilot" while providing good food for my family.  Here they are:

Meal 1:
Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork
(source here)
1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

This was one of those recipes that is SO easy, house smells great all day, have practically all ingredients in your house all the time, the meat just fell apart so tender and it was easy peasy and DELICIOUS! How much better can you get!

Paired it with a loaded potato recipe from Pinterest, which were great and my kids scarfed but not much different from a million other loaded potato recipes you have seen so I'll skip that.  I also made these tomatoes...

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes


  • 4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
From Eating Well Magazine, easy, yummy and healthy.  More for the husband and I because my children adhere to a strict no tomato policy - with the exception of ketchup which is just because I don't think they know! :)

For another night I made a ridiculously great salad!  Would also make a fancy schmanzy lunch for a friend!

BBQ Chicken Salad
(adapted from here)


2 chicken breasts
1/4-1/2 cup of barbecue sauce to marinade (optional, but recommended)

1 head bibb lettuce, washed & chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped and roasted

1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lime and zest
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
1/2 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2-2/3 cup frozen corn, thawed (unless you plan to let this thaw & marinade all day like I did!)
salt & pepper to taste

2/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/3 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or nonfat greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/3 cup BBQ sauce

Additional ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray (to lightly coat the sweet potatoes before roasting)
extra BBQ sauce for drizzling and tricolor tortilla strips to top on finished salad


Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add beans & corn, season with salt & pepper.  Saute in pan until slightly browned.

Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce about 6 hours (optional). Preheat grill, and cook chicken until done. Remove from heat and let "rest" for about 5-10 minutes. Chicken can even be made ahead of time & refrigerated.
Make dressing: Combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. You could also run this through a blender to make it even more smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Assemble lettuce, black bean & corn succotash, sweet potatoes, and top with chicken. Drizzle with additional BBQ sauce, followed by the Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing. I also topped with these (not pictured, forgot until we were halfway done eating!)
Never would have thought of adding sweet potato to a salad.  So yummy.  Dressing: Delicious! Meal sounded kind of complicated but it was really relatively easy and so many flavors. Trust me if I can make it in like 30 minutes under the influence of DayQuil then it must be really easy.  Yum yum yummy!

So there are your Pinterest picks this week.  Certainly added a little pizazz to a dreary week filled with illness and cleaning so maybe Pinterest really is a cure for depression.  Look out Pinerest, Pinterest is coming for you....

Friday, February 3, 2012

When to be still and when to start paddling...

I just came back from watching Soul Surfer for the second time, such a great great movie and if you haven't seen it you really should watch it....like seriously right now...come back when you have watched it. 

Ok good, it was amazing right? One of the most stunning visualizations for faith I thought came during one of Bethany's surfing competitions.  The imagery was that sometimes faith is paddling out into the deep waters looking for a wave when as far as you can see the sea is calm and still.  I was left pondering that as I drove home.  Do I exhibit that faith in my life? Chasing after something I want badly at the core of who I am, despite everyone around me thinking I am crazy, there's nothing there, having faith that God is in control whether I find a wave or not, making myself ready and available.  She charged ahead and I am so impressed with her for that!  There are dreams and goals that I have for myself, my family and some are things that I feel like God would want me to do for example ways I desire to serve him.  But as I scan the horizon the surface is flat and glassy and I see nothing that indicates that anything is coming my way.  I think I have a tendency to float along then, "waiting on God's timing", bobbing up and down in the waters of my faith and being dragged along by stronger currents, the forces of this world, telling myself that "I'm ready, but God isn't moving in this area yet".  Doesn't seem like real faith, just treading water.  I want to be like Bethany, a soul surfer, I want to dig in and paddle like mad toward the plans and future God has to prosper me, so I will be there when my wave comes...

I know I took the metaphor and ran like a wide receiver with that thing (there you go with a football analogy for Super Bowl Sunday!) but it struck me as a significant challenge to myself to change my heart, my motivation, my efforts, my faith.  I had another thought on the way home (oh brother, I should have stopped at one right?) Yesterday I was trying to hear if my three year old was getting into trouble in the other room. So I shushed my 6 year old and got very still to listen.  She immediately inquired "Momma, why do you close your eyes when you are listening?" Very observant! And then tonight I thought I smelled cigarettes in our van, this has been happening more and more lately because of a little boy we drive to church on Sunday nights smells strongly of cigarettes from his home and I am getting paranoid/neurotic that it is slowly infiltrating the ventilation system of my van.  So as I was driving I caught a whiff of it and I immediately reached for the volume on the radio and cranked it off so I could breath deeply to determine the "purity" of the air.  And I almost laughed out loud realizing I had turned off the radio so I could smell better.

 I can only imagine that it is a neurological truth that if you suppress one sensory system another will act as stronger or at least you will be more in tune with that sense. How about our spiritual senses? If you are waiting to hear God's voice, perhaps you should close your eyes tight and listen.  If you are waiting to "see" where God is leading you, how about being still before him.  Hebrews 11:1 says "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." If that is not a reason to start paddling I don't know what is?

Chris Tomlin says it pretty well...

I took this picture the other day for a photography challenge

1 Peter 1:7 says "These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Refined gold, like the wedding band in the picture is a beautiful metaphor for the purification of our hearts as the shadow falls into a heart across the page.  Every single person reading this is going through trials, big and small.  We have all got "stuff" and the Lord knows it is how we come through that refining that counts. We can easily be burned up in the fire.  Or we can plant ourselves firmly on Christ, on his word, on his promises.  And with that steadfast and purified heart that will give us the faith and the courage to start swimming. 

I am encouraged by these things.  I hope you are too.  I actually lost 6 lbs when I weighed myself Tue so I met two of my January goals.  I am mostly keeping with the same goals for Feb, I will give you the final lowdown some time this week.  I was really feeling adrift, but these thoughts have given me encouragement to stay the course and move forward.  I did better this last week than the week before and so on and so forth.  I am going to try to do even better this week.  I am working on being strong and courageous.  Time to start paddling....