Thursday, June 28, 2012

berry stains

the berries are just too good not to sacrifice a few scratches for … and for some reason, when I’m picking berries at my grandpa’s place, my pain tolerance increases.  the thorn pricks and raw scratches acquired just don’t seem to bother me.  I almost don’t even realize all of my wounds until I wash the sweet berry stains from my fingers and the warm water awakens the scratches.  even then, it’s worth it.

to soak in the sun-setting rays while picking juicy morsels of fresh sweetness, in the stillness of the early evening, with nothing but a slight breeze and chirping birds to distract you … simple perfection.  the red stains on my fingers bring me back to my childhood and memories race through my mind.  I’m surrounded by the fields that housed my adventures with the native americans and the swiss family robinson.  and I’m simply, for the hour it takes to glean every ripe berry from the vines, in heaven.

now what can a 2-person household do with that many berries?  oh, I can think of more than enough recipes to fill with sweet antioxidants.  and thankfully, there will be more ripe berries in just a few days.

thanks to my papa, the multiple freezers he acquired over the years, and the oversized garden he never ceases to plant, I know the perfect way to prevent time from stealing the life from my sweet addiction: 

Pick berries {note: the basket should have more berries than your belly by the end of your picking adventure}













Rinse berries and remove the stems


Spread out on parchment paper in a single layer


and freeze!

simple, I know.  tutorial totally not necessary, but I love the step by step process … it’s my favorite food to freeze!

this afternoon, I’ll put them in my vacuum food saver for future smoothies, cobblers, crisps, yogurt parfaits, etc


but I couldn’t resist saving a big bowl of antioxidant goodness for myself

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

best combos for the tasters

prior to wasting taking your time and reading this post, I must warn you that it is entirely pointless. 

last night, as I was making my staple bean and cheese burrito for the quick-out-the-door meal that monday night bible study requires of me, I was thinking about how much I LOVE the combination of beans and cheese.  refried pinto beans, that is.  it’s just the best.  if I were on an island, stranded for the rest of my days, the food item I would want in bountiful amounts would be … the bean and cheese burrito. talk about protein.  and if you use low-fat/non-fat beans, it’s not even bad for you.  it may not have a whole host of extra nutrients, but I’m not on an island, so I still get those from the other foods that I regularly consume.

other food duos that evoke shear pleasure from my taste-buds? oh, there may not be anything quite like the combo of hot frijoles oozing with gooey queso, but my mouth also certainly enjoys …

cinnamon and sugar {hello sweet heaven}


bbq sauce and ranch {new favorite salad topper}


peanut butter and banana {something elvis & I have in common, I hear}


{pic source}

and so on …

but nothing quite satisfies like a good ol’ bean and cheese burrito

{pic source}

now, you know you want to go slather some low-fat refried pinto beans on a flour {or my new favorite corn} tortilla, sprinkle it with some shredded queso of choice, and a dash of mexican seasoning {I use emeril lagasse’s essence seasoning} …  but don’t forget to put it in your george forman grill to toast the tortilla to a crispy golden brown …

mmm … I’m hungry now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

can I brag?

thanks for your permission to brag on some absolutely fantastic women …

these women:


I’m pretty sure I’ve bragged about them before … but they are just so wonderful that I think they deserve a little more bragging.

I met these beautiful women when they were in high school {most of the just sophomores} when I was a youth leader at church.  We all clicked individually, mashed a couple of trios together, and wham.  one big group of extraordinary women, joined by their passion for life, love, and Jesus.  I’ve spent many hours over coffee dates, lunch dates, girls nights, small group sessions, and even locked up in bathrooms, mentoring and loving these women.  the Lord has graciously given me the wisdom that they’ve needed to hear, while at the same time, taught me a great deal through each of them.

Now, they are all in college, working full time, traveling, and ministering to the world.  talk about proverbs 31 women in training.

this summer alone, they are spread across the world, from LA to Germany to Orlando to Australia to Mexico to Asia and beyond.  I love watching their hearts grow as the they discover their passions and purpose on this little planet.

I’m so excited to see where life takes them and I’m honored to get to call these women friends!

now, go and conquer the world.  well, don’t conquer it, but win them to Jesus.  boom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

an american sport

in my humble opinion, you can’t get much more fun, or american, than a baseball game.  you just can’t.

there’s something about the smell of the grass, the roar of the crowd, and even the crunch of the peanut shells under your feet, that evoke a patriotic infused feeling of summer. 

even if it’s at the minor league level.  the same feelings apply.

the sound of the bat, making it’s ever so brief impact with the stitched ball and catapulting it into the sky.  the moment the lights turn on to illuminate the field and it’s surrounding audience.  the smell of the dodger dogs, being roasted to perfection.  oh, wait … I guess that only happens at dodger stadium.  but our local minor league team {go rivercats!} has a pretty mean dinger dog going for them too …

it may go unmentioned, given my permanent union to a die hard giants fan … but deep down inside, I’m a dodgers fan at heart.  I blame my dodger blue blood on the mexican that raised me.  the guy that taught me the classic baseball song {take me out to the ballgame, for those that might not be american} and replaced “home team” with “dodgers” … for far too long, I actually thought the song was strictly a dodgers song.  im just that gullible trusting of the man that I call “dad”.

he loved the dodgers for good reason: born and raised next to dodger stadium, with stories of sneaking in to view the game from a perched position on top of a fence … before working there in highschool.  it’s his childhood.  and he passed the love on to me.

now, given our lack of a tv to help in my fandom, I’m not much of a fan.  {my blood is in fact red, like yours, believe it our not} but when it comes down to it, given the opportunity, I’ll always “root, root, root for the dodgers!”

but back to what I was saying about the game of baseball …

one thing in particular that makes the plastic-chair-sitting experience of being at a 9 inning-long baseball game so fantastic: the food.  and thank God for 9 innings.  makes way for 3 courses. 

1st inning: hot dogs
3rd inning: garlic fries with jalapenos
supposed to be 6th inning, but couldn’t wait: nachos … with jalapenos of course

at least that was the menu for our last baseball outing.  and to disgust my sister even further, another story about all the food items she would never dare let enter into her healthy little body: one time, my dad and I went to a rivercats game with the goal of eating one of everything on the menu throughout the game: dogs, nachos, cheese steak sandwiches, fries, crackerjacks, cotton candy, and who knows what else was consumed during that game.  I admit, it was in my younger years of higher metabolism and no care for the processed food.  {don’t worry kris, I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it again … but at least I can say I did it!}


he’d hate me for including this picture, but I guess that’s a perk of him not keeping me accountable and checking what I post on here.  he’s just so cute!