Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Salad

Dissolve :  1 Large box of orange jello in 1/2 c. boiling water

Add:  1/2 c. orange juice – pulp free

Let cool

Then add:

1 lb. of cranberries, finely chopped ( use a blender or food processor)

1 1/2 c. pineapple tidbits , drained

1c. chopped apple

1c. chopped walnuts

1/2 c. chopped celery

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

3/4 c. sugar

orange zest of 1 small orange

Mix well and chill overnight.


Cheesy Brussel Sprouts

Cheesy Brussel Sprouts

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts


4 slices of Bacon

1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped 

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 lbs. Fresh Brussel Sprouts, cut in half

1 1/2 c. Whole Milk

1 c. Chicken Broth

4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

5 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour

3/4 c. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Tablespoon Dried Thyme

Ground Pepper to taste

1 1/ 2 c. Grated Sharp White Cheddar

Paprika for Garnish

Step 1 :

Heat a large skillet and crisp cook the bacon.  Transfer to a plate and cool.  Pour off all but approximately 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the onion and minced garlic.  Cook until onion is translucent.  Scrape the onions and garlic into the bottom of a large shallow 9×13 baking dish.  Spreading evenly across the bottom.  Set aside.

Step  2:

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil then add the sprouts and cook until tender.  Drain thoroughly and transfer to the baking dish.

Step 3:  

Combine Milk and Chicken Broth in saucepan Bring to simmer, remove from heat.

Step 4:

Melt butter in a large saucepan .  Add the flour and cook at medium heat for approximately 1 minute until golden brown.  Whisk in half of the hot milk and broth.  Heat and whisk for another minute or so until mixture is thickened.  Add the remaining liquid and cook for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.

Step 5:

Whisk in the parmesan cheese , mustard , thyme, salt and pepper.  Pour the sauce mixture evenly over the sprouts.  Crumble the crisp bacon over the top and then sprinkle evenly the white cheddar cheese.  Dust lightly with paprika.

Step 6:

Bake at 375 degrees in center oven for approximately 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.


This Thanksgiving…

This Thanksgiving…


This Thanksgiving…

This past week has been difficult. As the new Global Ministry Director for MOPS International, I have the privilege of interacting with moms all over the world. I spend most days communicating with moms via email, Facebook, FaceTime calls, all things tech to keep us connected. It has been exciting and I love learning about the different cultures and challenges that moms face in different countries. Even though our countries are different, motherhood is our common language. So it was shocking when I received an email that told me our new group in Rwanda had experienced a terrible tragedy.

MOPS recently began in Rwanda and these ladies were new to the MOPS sisterhood. Last week there was terrible flooding in Rwanda and while the group was meeting their building was washed away, killing 5 moms and hospitalizing 11, many of whom remain in critical condition. There are many small children who have lost their moms. Over 40 children affected by this tragedy. Some are now orphans and some are waiting for their moms to come home from the hospital. Husbands, family members, and a community grieving for the loss of their beloved.

The honest questions that arise in the hours of tragedy, the most prevailing always being – why? This side of heaven I am not sure we will ever really know the answers to all the times we utter, cry or shout – why? Trust and faith in a God who I believe is good and who is loving is what I cling to today. The answer of trust is simple but the application is hard.

Within minutes of making this profoundly sad announcement to our MOPS community, we had an outpouring of love, prayer, and offerings to help from women who never will step foot in Rwanda. The witness of this generous love was amazing and when the Rwandan families read them they were overwhelmed with love. The sting of grief will always feels lighter when you sense others will help carry the burden. Their emails to me were of thankfulness for this covering of prayer and love.

I have spent the evening preparing for my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. I admit I have had feelings of guilt that I will be surrounded by my loved ones, feasting, while others around the world; especially my friends in Rwanda will awaken to another day of grief and hardship.

I plan to honor these women tomorrow with prayer and with the ways I show I am thankful for what I do have. Loving my family well because none of us know for certain how long our time on earth will be. Tomorrow I will focus on what the T A B L E represents to me.

T – I will take the time to be intentional with each person at the Thanksgiving table. Taking time to interact and love on those around me.

A – I will ask questions that show that I am genuinely interested in what is going on in their lives.

B – I will be more interested than interesting – this definitely reinforces the first two and is a good reminder not to monopolize the conversation.

L – I will laugh and listen – There is nothing better than laughter . Sharing old stories , recalling childhood memories or learning about new friends. Laughter is good for the soul.

E – I will enjoy myself, and my family and friends – thankful for another day !

This Thanksgiving, I pray that my gratitude will be rooted in the character and nature of who God is more than my ever-changing circumstances—and this is my prayer for you too.  And in our gratitude may our lives be a bright light declaring to others our thankfulness to the Lord!

Sending prayers to Rwanda this Thanksgiving –

Love and God Bless –







Thanksgiving T A B LE Tips

get-attachment-10.aspxFirst published at 1 Corinthians 13 on November 20,2014

November has arrived and if you live in the United States that means it is Thanksgiving time.

I think it is great that we set aside a day to give thanks. I’m wondering though if our hearts are truly thankful or if that gets pushed aside by the preparation of the delicious turkey dinner and the football line-up on TV.

Or perhaps we want to give thanks to God but become so consumed by our menu and decorations that the beauty of a thankful heart is lost in the translation.

This thought reminded me of a year when my kids were little and in setting the Thanksgiving table, “kids table” to be more exact, I had purchased chocolate turkeys – think chocolate Easter bunny but in the shape of a turkey. My youngest son took a bite of his chocolate turkey and quickly proclaimed, “Hey – there is nuffin’ in this, it’s all empty inside!”

I think that’s how thanksgiving can be if we lose site of our focus in thanking God and caring for one another.

I recently hosted an event for our Women’s Ministry. It was a cooking event featuring Tammy Maltby and Cathy Vogel. The food was amazing but what stood out to me the most was Tammy sharing about true hospitality. What better time to think God-inspired hospitality than the month of Thanksgiving.

The following acrostic is helpful as we host and attend our annual dinners and gather around the TABLE. May these words guide us to life – giving hospitality this season.

T – Take the time

Make it your mission to be intentional with each person at the Thanksgiving table. Taking time to interact and love on those around you.

A – Ask the questions

People enjoy talking about themselves, ask questions that make them feel that you are genuinely interested in what is going on in their lives.

B – Be more interested than interesting

This reinforces the first two points for sure. It’s great to be part of the table talk not monopolize it.

L – Laugh and Listen

There is nothing better than laughter. Sharing old stories, recalling childhood memories or learning about new friends. Laughter is good for the soul.

E – Enjoy yourself and others

Remember this is not about perfection it is about being thankful !

Our gratitude is magnified when we take the time to love others and thank God for the privilege to do so.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4: 8-10 NIV

How will you be intentional this Thanksgiving ?