Friday, November 30, 2012

got turkey?

If you carefully planned, thawed, seasoned, basted, roasted, carved and devoured a turkey on Thanksgiving, chances are, that you were lucky enough to keep most of the leftovers in your home – that is, after giving some of them away to your deserving guests! 

After it is picked clean, this mama takes the carcass and boils it down with salt, pepper, garlic and onion to make a nice solid stock.  This year the bones were so good that I got two big batches of it resulting in 16 cups of stock to use in soups for the winter (holla!).  But for me, what to do with that leftover turkey? 

I have issues with hunks of meat.  Really.  I think I could be a vegetarian if it weren’t for seafood and bacon. (Ahh, bacon…I am salivating.)  All that to say, I am not one to throw a slab of turkey on bread and eat it after thanksgiving.  I also don’t like my food to touch on my plate.  That’s another story for another time.IMAG0294

So I make recipes using small bits of the leftover meat.  I didn’t  feel like making soup (read: I waited way to late to start dinner) and I stumbled across this delightful little recipe.  It is adapted from Pinch of Yum.  I say adapted, because as those of you who know me, I can never really follow a recipe.  Ever.  I like to be creative in the kitchen.

Southwest Bean Casserole


  • some chopped up leftover turkey meat (I used 2 cups)
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 red/green pepper, chopped 
  • 3-4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 t garlic salt
  • ⅔ cup turkey broth (or other broth)
  • 2 15 oz cans of your favorite beans, rinsed
  • 1-2 chopped seeded tomatoes OR 1 can of drained diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup (2 oz) shredded cheese (I used cheddar and slices of longhorn because that is what I had!)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Coat pan with olive oil. Add onion, pepper, sautéing for 4 minutes and stirring occasionally. Add cumin, red pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly (I added a tablespoon or two of water to keep things from sticking in the pan.)  Add spinach and wilt.
  4. Stir in broth and black beans. Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Mash beans to desired consistency. Mix in the turkey and heat through.
  5. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with tomato and cheese. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. (It took my oven 20 minutes) Let cool for at least 10 minutes (otherwise it will be too runny).
  6. Serve with sour cream, tortilla chips, on tacos, on a salad, or just eat it plain!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Day ‘12


We woke to a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l morning on Thursday morning – a morning to be thankful for, surely!  We journeyed to a local park to help clean up leaves and IMAG0301trash as a way to give thanks to the community that we live in.  We went with our fr-amily and the 4 kids that were along ‘helped’ with the leaves.  It was such a sunny morning that halfway through we shed our coats and hats and basked in the warmth.


We returned home in time for Mama to put the turkey in the oven and then spent the afternoon enjoying one another.  Anna loved on Laura’s dog, Reiley, and Laura helped Hudson and Anna make place markers for the table.


IMG_1998The turkey was done and it was time to eat!  We each filled out a feather for our Thankful Turkey (see here) and sat down to “sup” together. 

As we finished up the main course, more friends arrived to enjoy dessert with us.


Our day after Thanksgiving tradition is to put our lights up on the outside of the house….and to begin putting up the tree.  The kids were ecstatic, and Hudson was ready to be Daddy’s big helper.  He helped to stretch the lights and check that they were working.  He handed them to Daddy as he climbed the ladder.IMG_2004IMG_2009

We have so much to be thankful for.  More than I can list.  More than I could fill a book with.  For my heart overflows with how He has blessed us, how He has provided for us in the good times, and in the challenges.  My prayer is that we do not just model for our children that thanks is only given on one day of the year, but in every moment, on every day as we journey through this life that God has given to us.  For it is a gift, and I am ever grateful – may I sing His praise and give thanks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hadleigh 4 months

IMG_1888(Hadleigh’s first Halloween)

Happy baby, happy girl.  That pretty much describes Hadleigh.  The dr. says you are growing right on schedule and doing very well – and you are a long string bean like your brother and sister…you are in the 97th% for your length and the 75th% for your weight.IMG_1781

I love that you still think I am the funniest person in the world – I am sure that will change too soon.  You can roll 3/4 of the way over and back, but don’t totally make it all the way.  We think you realize you may lose sight of the people in the room so you just flip back over.  You give smiles freely and have an adorable giggle.  You’ve gotten very good at grabbing your hanging toys on your Baby Einstein playmat and get frustrated when they don’t reach your mouth.


You’ve captured us all…..hook….line….and sinker….

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Who needs hallmark?

Who needs a card store when you have a willing master artist in residence?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

party of five


I like that.  Party of five. Seems like a nice number. A full number. A number that I am so blessed that God has given to me.  And our party of five went on our first family trip this past weekend. 

IMG_1924IMG_1928It was time. Time for us to be together with no distraction. No schedule. No expectations.


Time for Daddy to be on sabbatical. To think. To prepare. To ready his heart for the upcoming season of ministry.


Time for Mommy to enjoy her family. To be washed in the blessing of who I’ve been entrusted. To laugh. To smile. To play.



Time to be outside. To hike. To gather leaves. To explore.


Time to reconnect. To recharge. To love.



And to the family that blessed us with the gift of their second home?  I pray that God may overflow their hearts and lives because they gave us an amazing time away…together…as a party of five.

the answer….

the answer you’ve been holding your breath for…

peapod-kids answer

did you guess correctly?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Can you tell who is who?

All three of our peapods have been picked from our garden in Arizona or here!  SOOO….can you tell which pea is in which pod?

To play along….make your guess and leave a comment….the results will be posted soon!