goodbye wordpress…

June 5, 2010

….hello blogspot!

check out my new blog at:


There have been two main trains of thought going through my mind lately…

The first is my fear of the Bible Belt… I love where I live, and honestly, I do feel the Lord’s protection over me here. I love that He has placed me at The Village, I love working on staff there, and I love the community I have at that place. But there is this thought in the back of my mind that makes me wonder if my faith is genuine and deeply rooted, or is it just easy to live out because i am smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt? Would my faith stick if I moved somewhere else, somewhere where a church wasnt on every corner and where it wasnt so easy to be a Christian?

The second permeating thought is that I feel as though the Lord is preparing me for suffering. I have been feeling this preparation since January. Rather than sitting in fear, I have a sense of peace that comes from knowing that it is the Lord’s will that His children suffer and that He uses it for their good and for His glory, and to sanctify them and mold them into Christ-likeness. And so, knowing that suffering is coming (whether sooner or later) my main prayer has been that when that day comes, that I would prove to be faithful. Let’s face it… my life has been easy, and my faith has never truly been tested. And so my prayer is that of 1st Peter 1:6-9 that in a time of trial, my faith would be tested by the fire and result in praise, glory, and honor and that the outcome of my faith would prove to be the salvation of my soul. My prayer is that I would stand firm on solid ground and that in that day my faith would not crumble.

Both trains of thought have lead me to spend significant time in the Sermon on the Mount, both in Matthew 5-7 and in Luke 6. What beautiful, challenging, and profound passages these are and both have been great at helping me to examine my heart and look at the genuineness of my faith. Both passages end with Jesus saying that whoever hears and does His words will be like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock; when a flood arose, the stream broke against the house and could not shake it because it had been built well. but the one who hears and does not do what Jesus says is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; when the stream broke against it, the house immediately fell and the ruin of the house was great. Obviously, what Jesus has to say in these passages is great… and whether we listen or not determines what kind of ground we stand on and what will result in the day of trial.

And so, wanting to be built on solid ground, I have written out questions based on these passages that will help me to examine my faith. At first I felt like it seemed like a religious check list of do’s and don’t’s… but it’s not that at all. Rather, it is a gauging of the heart to see where we put our hope, love, faith, and trust. It’s a list that helps us to see if we are following the world, or following Christ. I definitely don’t have this all figured and I am still working through this on my own. I am not perfect and will never reach perfection this side of heaven. But regardless, these questions are helping me to gauge my heart and to see where my hope is found. I hope it is helpful to you as well.

What are Jesus’ words that I am called to hear and do?

  • Matthew 5:13- Do I blend in with the world? Can others tell by my life that I love the Lord?
  • Matthew 5:14-16- Am I light to others, or is my lamp hidden under a basket so that others cannot see? Are people drawn to Christ in me or do they even know I am a believer?
  • Matthew 5:19- Do I encourage others in their sin or do I lovingly correct them with truth?
  • Matthew 5:22- Am I easily angered? Do I insult others?
  • Matthew 5:24- Do I make amends and strive for reconciliation, or do I hold on to bitterness and refuse to extend the forgiveness to others that Christ has extended to me?
  • Matthew 5:9 and 25- Am I a peacemaker?
  • Matthew 5:38-41- Do I desire retaliation? Do I trust that God is the one true judge and that He will execute justice in His time or do I live as though vengeance is mine? Do I seek personal revenge or do I respond to hatred with love?
  • Matthew 5:42 and Luke 6:30- Do I withhold from others? Do I hoard my earthly possessions? Do I give to those in need, remembering that nothing I have is my own, but given to me by God? Am I willing to use my blessings to bless others? Do I feel entitled to what I think is mine?
  • Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27-29- Do I love my enemies? Do I do good to those who hate me? Do I bless those who curse me? Do I pray for those who insult me?
  • Matthew 5:48- Do I strive to be perfect like my heavenly father is perfect? Do I desire righteousness and Christ-likeness?
  • Matthew 6:1- Do I practice righteousness out of a desire to be seen by others? Is my walk with the Lord driven by pride or humility?
  • Matthew 6:5- Do I pray using lofty words, seeking the approval of man? Or are my conversations with the Lord produced from a sincere heart? Do I do things to be seen and accepted/approved by others or do I do things from a humility of heart?
  • Matthew 6:19- Is my treasure found in earthly possessions that moth and rust can destroy, that man can steal, and that will not last? Or is my treasure found in heaven, which is perfect, eternal, unchanging, and everlasting?
  • Matthew 6:24- Do I love God or money? Where is my hope found?
  • Matthew 6:25- What am I anxious about? Do I trust the Lord to provide for me? Is my life more about food and clothing or do I only care about the trivial things of this world?
  • Matthew 6:33- Do I seek worldly things or do I strive for righteousness?
  • Matthew 7:1-3 and Luke 6:37-42- Do I judge others? Do I condemn others? Do I consider my own heart and remove the speck from my own eye before pointing out the speck in anothers eye? Do I have a forgiving heart and am I willing to forgive others like Christ has forgiven me?
  • Matthew 7 :12 and Luke 6:31- Do I treat others the way I want to be treated?
  • Matthew 7:13- Am I on the path of destruction or the path of life?
  • Matthew 7:15 and Luke 6:43-45- Do I bear good fruit? Am I known by my fruit and what does it reveal about me? What do others see in me based on the fruit that I produce? Am I a wolf posing in sheep’s clothing?
  • Matthew 7: 21 and Luke 6:46- Do I call Jesus “Lord” but not do what He commands? Do I claim to know Him but don’t know Him at all?
  • Luke 6:21- Am I grieved over my sin? Do I hate the things in my life that are offensive to God? Do I despise the sin of this world and long for Christ to return and make all things new?
  • Luke 6:22- Am I willing to be hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned for my faith? Do I love myself more than I love Christ? Is man’s opinion and approval of me greater than my desire to stand firm in what I believe?
  • Luke 6:24- Am I too eager to find my consolation, trust, comfort, and satisfaction in the things God has created instead of find them in the Creator Himself? Is my hope in worldly things that do not satisfy?
  • Luke 6: 26- Do I desire man’s approval over the Lord’s?  Do I love men, who are evil and wicked, more than my God who is perfectly good and loving and unchanging?
  • Luke 6:32-33- Do I only love those who love me? Do I only love those who are easy to love? Do I only do good to those who do good to me first? Am I willing to love like Christ? To love those who are unlovable? To extend love and grace and forgiveness to those it is hard to extend such things to?
  • Luke 6:34- Do I lend with the expectation of getting something in return? Or do I hold loosely the things of this world, knowing that they will rust and destroy and will not last with time?
  • Luke 6:36- Am I merciful?

These are definitely difficult things to think through. They are hard and weighty and they reveal the truth about our hearts. May Christ’s words permeate my heart and may I prove to be faithful in the end.


garage sale win!

April 25, 2010

check out my $15 garage sale find! it goes perfect in our guest bedroom… love it!


April 23, 2010

reasons why my birthday was special:

  • my childhood best friend, haley, wrote me the most sweetest birthday present ever… 26 childhood memories she had of us growing up together. it was so sweet and thoughtful and they were all so random and ridiculous that they made me laugh out loud!
  • when i walked into work, there was the most amazing balloon creation thing ever waiting for me! my momma sent it to me and it made my day! she is always so great at making me feel loved and thought of and she is the whole reason why i love birthdays so much… she always knew just how to make them special. now that i live away from home, she always makes it a point to send me super fun things like this to brighten my day
  • my sweet staff knew that i was worried about having my birthday party at the arboretum because the weather had been calling for rain all day… so, just in case it ended up raining on my parade, they brought the arboretum into my cubicle. this was so fun and creative and meant so much to me because it was so thoughtful. i can guarantee that these decorations will be in my cube all year round!
  • sweet text messages, cards, and phone calls all the day long.
  • THE LORD. what a good and loving father i have. i was stressed all day about the rain… wondering how it would affect our plans at the arboretum and whether or not i should cancel the party and move it to my house… worrying about getting wet… worrying about wasting everyones money if they bought the tickets but then we didnt end up going, etc. it sprinkled all the way to the arboretum and the whole time i just knew it was about to downpour…and i was stressed to say the least. but alas, the lord held back the rain and not only did he spare us from a single drop of rain, but it also ended up being a beautiful evening! and, just to remind me of his gracious gift to me, the second we left the arboretum it started sprinkling again- he truly held it at bay for the exact amount of time that we were there. what was i even worried about?!
  • going to the arboretum for the first time ever and loving it’s beauty! several friends and i went to watch the killdares perform an outdoor concert, and it was so fun…. they even played with bagpipes. enough said.
  • going back to my sweet friend katie’s apartment for smore’s afterwards.
  • girls night! as bummed as i was that dj was out of town for my birthday, it was so fun to just hang out with the girls… here are some pictures of me with each of my wonderful friends. thank you guys for making me feel so loved and cared for today and always!

my sweet friend, grace. i love this girl- she is such a delight. she truly has the joy of the lord and makes me laugh all the time!

mallery! i love, love, love this girl. she has become one of my closest friends this past year and is always there to laugh, cry, and pray with me… she is getting married so so soon and i am so excited for her and josh!

mandy and summer! both of these girls are so sweet and bring so much joy into my life. they are both so thoughtful, intentional, and sweet. the majority of my texts and emails are from them and i love that.

best friend! so blessed to have been able to do life with this girl for the past seven years. love you, amy!

me with stephanie and mallery… the three of us and our boys are about to start a home group together. i am seriously so excited to do life with them!

this one is blurry, but i like it anyway because i love everyone in it. the three of us work together. katie (on the right) is coming to kenya with us in september, and i cannot wait!!

this is my new friend, gwen! i am so excited about this new friendship- she is a blast!

as weird as it sounds, i have this new found love for college girls, but not in a creepy, pervert man sounding way…. the lord has recently put a group of college girls in my life and i love them to pieces. it is such a joy to walk with girls who are just a few years younger than me, but who i can love and pour into. they are so refreshing to be around! meet bethany. she is an absolute delight to be around and every time i am in a funk, i can count on her to cheer me up!

summer b! isn’t she the cutest thing ever? she has such a sweet and gentle spirit and i adore her.and she can totally rock the flower clips, and for that i am jealous.

angie is in my james bible study group and she is so much fun. i always enjoy seeing her and particularly love her because of her ability to make me laugh.

another one of me and grace, just making up for lost time. grace has been in my life for five years and sadly these are the only two pictures i have of us!

i am grateful to the lord for giving me such wonderful friends and for loving me through his people. he is a good and gracious father and i am so blessed by all that he has given me. thank you, lord, for another year. may you be glorified in and through me.


in honor of my twenty-sixth birthday (which is tomorrow, friends!), i decided to copy my lovely friend mandy and do twenty six thoughts and reflections of the 26 years that i have been blessed to live thus far. enjoy!

  1. i was born on easter sunday, 1984… easter hasn’t been on my birthday ever since. i keep waiting for it  though! next year it is on april 24th… close, but no cigar.
  2. my momma is one of my best friends and i love her to death.
  3. one time, my mom prayed for my hamster to die and he did. he had a tumor the size of a golf ball on his leg and it was so big that he couldn’t get in the door of his little hamster house. so, my momma prayed for god to take him out of his misery and he did. basically, this translates to my mom killed my hamster. RIP skippy. or jiffy. dangit, i can’t remember what his name was.
  4. i had the same best friend from from age 6 to 19. all of my favorite childhood memories involve her and she was such a source of joy for the majority of my life. i am blessed to still talk to/see her on a semi-regular basis.
  5. growing up, i just wanted to fit in. i wore chucks and vans because i thought they made me cool, dyed my hair pink, pierced my ears all up and got a ridiculous regret of a tattoo all because i wanted to be accepted. i like myself a whole lot better now that i am content with just being me.
  6. i had wonderful parents and a wonderful childhood, but still seemed to be plagued by fear, anxiety, anger, and finding my worth in boys for the majority of my growing up years. praise jesus for saving me from the miry pit.
  7. college was the best time of my life. friends at your fingertips 24/7, no responsibility, hang out all day every day. college is where i met jesus and learned about community. thank you lord, for giving me amy, mary, and mackenzie and for pursuing me through them.
  8. in college, i was part of a club called the no-girls allowed club. we were pretty amazing and did everything together the last two years of college.
  9. i met the love of my life when i was twenty. his first impression of me was that i was a quiet girl with a lot of problems. we became friends, and then he proceeded to de-friend me without my knowledge. i thought we were friends, but alas, we were not. we were not off to a good start, to say the least.
  10. i went to china for a month when i was twenty one. i have no interest in going back. and ps. they do not have orange chicken or sesame chicken or any of the “normal” chinese food we are used to in china. what the heck?! but they did have the best broccoli i have ever eaten in my life! and lemon ritz! and also cow intestines. see me gagging on them in exhibit a below:
  11. i married my hot husband on march 10, 2007. he has been the greatest gift and joy of my life here on earth. he is the greatest man i know and his unconditional love, grace, forgiveness, and kindness never fail to point me to christ. he is the most fun one and my favorite,  most best friend. and he’s handsome too, which is a plus.
  12. dj planned our entire honeymoon and revealed the destination twelve hours before we left! best surprise ever. we stayed at the el dorado royale in riviera maya, mexico. it was wonderful and i think everyone should go there.
  13. the lord has blessed our three years together. from an easy marriage thus far, to financial provision, to an abundance of answered prayers, he has bestowed gift after gift upon us. the lord is good.
  14. dj and i went to zambia in 2008 and it was the single most hardest season of my life. when we left, i swore up and down that i would never return to that continent… but the lord was faithful and used the following six months to teach and mold my heart and now i cannot wait to go back. and maybe even live there, but someone convince dj because he’s not on board.
  15. dj and i both had life-changing prophetic words spoken over us in september of 2008. seriously. our lives were changed. but enough said, i don’t want to freak you guys out.
  16. me and dj both love family cuddle time
  17. i love to cook and i love to eat. my favorite food in the world is potatoes. and then bread. and then meat. really anything that is high-starch and high-carb. mmm.
  18. i love glitter eyeshadow and blue mascara… these two products are my beauty trademarks.
  19. dj and i bought our first home last year. it is a gift from the lord.
  20. my favorite things to do are try new recipes, go out for fancy brunches and dinners, and lay in bed and watch friends.
  21. dj and i are starting a home group in june! it’s gonna be us, the almost yens, and the almost mckees. we call ourselves the mchofyens because we’re cool like that. i seriously cannot wait. yay for good friends and good community.
  22. grocery shopping and cleaning are sadly one of my most favorite things to do. what can i say, i love wifey things!
  23. my first favorite day of the week is thursdays because it’s date night and then since we have fridays off, we always get to sleep in the next morning. dj and i love date night. my top three dates that i want to go on this next year are horseback riding, painting with a twist, and a cooking class at sur la table.
  24. my second favorite day of the week is saturdays because it’s our sabbath! breakfast with mal and josh and then home for a nap always makes for a good day. our favorite brunch spot thus far is taverna. eggs benedict and two dollor mimosas!
  25. dj and i are leading a trip to kenya in september. i absolutely cannot wait. we will be serving alongside the mendonsas and helping at the IDP camp, naomi’s village, and comfort the children. dj went last year and i am so excited to join him this year. i am emailing all of the applicants tonight and will start setting up interviews to form our team. bring it!
  26. my birthday is the best day of the year! i love love love it.

happy birthday, friends!

i am so completely overwhelmed with our yard. spring has come and it brought the weeds with it. they are overrunning our entire yard and it is stressing me out to the max. i don’t want to deal with it… i just want to close my eyes, pay someone to fix it, and when i open them again find a beautiful oasis of a yard. but alas, it’s not something that can be fixed in the blink of an eye. it will take work and it will be a process. and as much as i hate it, i cannot help but see the obvious spiritual parallel between the weeds in my yard and the sin in my life…

the weeds are running amuck. and the way i see it, i have three options. i can leave them alone and have them completely overrule the entire yard, making the weed problem go from bad to worse. i can mow over them, making them look good on the surface, but with time they will come back with a vengeance. or i can take the time to get my hands dirty and dig up the roots. this won’t be pretty at first. it will leave gaping holes in my yard. it will leave pockets of dirt that are raw and exposed.. but with time, new life will come and it will be strong and healthy and full.

kind of like life.

i look the sin in my life and find that i have those same three options. i can ignore it and let the sin run rampant in my life. i can white-knuckle it and try to handle it on my own… i’ll look pretty on the surface all the while being dead inside and will just be frustrated days, weeks, or months later when it all resurfaces. or i can do like jesus advocates in matthew 7:27-30 and dig up the roots, identifying the cause of the outward sin and work through the hard, tedious, and overwhelming task of removing it. this option seems hard. and scary. and overwhelming. it will leave gaping wounds that are raw and exposed. it will be painful. but in the end, the removal of the roots will bring forth new life and life to the fullest.

i hate weeds. and i hate my sin. and as much as i hate getting out there and uprooting the junk in my yard, i can’t help but smile that jesus is found even in the weeds.

what deeply rooted sin is in your life that needs to be dealt with? and with what option do you plan to tackle it?

just something to think about.


sweet graces

April 9, 2010

i have struggled a lot this week. a lot of anxiety. a lot of fear. a lot of feeling like i am not good enough. a lot of carrying around a heavy burden that was never meant for me to bear. a lot of tears. a lot of pressure. but in the midst of it all, the lord has been faithful and good. here are some evidences of his grace that i saw this week:

  • the Lord’s sweet reminder that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. my anxiety was the worst yesterday. before i left for work, my sweet husband prayed matthew 11:30 over me and ask the lord to remind me of this truth throughout the day. 15 minutes later i walked into work and my wonderful friends charissa and deedra (who saw anxiety all over my face) prayed the exact same thing over me as well. this burden i have been carrying is all too heavy, but he never asked me to carry it… instead he has asked me to join in with him and in doing so, the burden is light because he has already carried it for me.
  • zinnias! i decided i want to plant a garden. in fact, i want to have a planting party and have all my beloved friends come over and plant some pretty in my yard, but alas, dj and i decided that this project needs to wait until next year. but oh, you just wait… i am so going to plant some of these beauties:

  • sweet time with sweet girls. between dinner at my new favorite restaurant (tinstar- get the #9) with mallery, summer, and mandy, a park meeting with grace, and coffee with bethany, my heart was delighted to meet with each of these girls all throughout the week.
  • these babies…. i am making them tonight for mallery and josh’s shower and it’s seriously like a little bit of heaven in your mouth.
  • kenya! registration for the trip is now closed so dj and i will soon begin sorting through all the applications and start forming our team. we have a meeting with the mendonsa’s on wednesday to start planning our trip.
  • 5 weeks and two days until we go to the cabin… we seriously cannot wait. we are always sending each other texts or emails or simply saying to one another “remember the cabin?! can’t wait to go!”
  • oh and duh, easter was probably the best grace of all. remembering the death and resurrection of christ and the fact that jesus took the punishment of death for all those who love and trust him. in doing so, all who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life… and life to the fullest at that. thank you, lord, for saving me and calling me your child.


i love him

April 1, 2010

some yum for you

March 26, 2010

dj and i love to cook and tried several new recipes this week. here are some that i hope you like:

Southwestern Chicken


  • 1 can (11 oz) green giant Mexican corn
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small can of green chiles
  • 1 package (8.5 ounces) of jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar (16 oz) pace chunky salsa (hot)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup co-jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with nonstick spray.

Drain liquid from the mexicorn, reserving two tablespoons of liquid. Place the reserved two tablespoons of liquid in a medium bowl. Add egg to liquid and whisk to blend. Stir in mexicorn. Stir in chiles. Add corn muffin mix; stir just until blended. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Bake until done, about 20 minutes.

While the cornbread is baking, cook chicken in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat, about 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Add the salsa and beans. Bring to a boil; cover. Simmer on medium low for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is done. Top the chicken with 1 cup of cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To serve, place a piece of cornbread on a plate and mash with a fork. Top with the chicken and salsa/bean mixture and enjoy!

Rosemary Corn Cakes with Chicken Sausages and Hot & Sweet peppers


  • 2 packages chicken sausages, any flavors or brand, such as sun-dried tomato or garlic (we used habanero & jack cheese and jalapeño and cheddar cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (twice around the pan)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 box (8 1/2 ounces) Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 large cubanelle peppers (long, Italian light green sweet peppers), seeded and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 hot red cherry peppers, chopped (reserve the juice)
  • 1/2 cup honey

Preheat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Prick sausages with a fork and place in a large skillet then add 1-inch of water to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the pan then bring water up to a boil then reduce the heat to medium. Let the sausages cook until the liquid evaporates 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave on High for 15 seconds. In a medium bowl, combine the muffin mix with the egg, melted butter, milk, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Spray the griddle with nonstick spray. Form 4 small cakes, 2-3 inches in diameter, and cook until golden on each side, then repeat with the remaining mixture.

Check the sausages, When the liquid has evaporated, move the sausages off to one side of the pan to allow the casings to crisp and brown. Add the cubanelle peppers to the other side of the pan and let them cook until just tender. Season with salt and pepper, then add the hot peppers and toss. Douse the pan with a splash of pepper juice just before you serve the peppers.

Serve the sausages with peppers on top and the cakes alongside. Drizzle the cakes with honey.

Balsamic Chicken with Fresh Tomatoes, Spinach, and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 4 cups spinach, washed and dried
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • rosemary to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, 3 garlic cloves (minced), and salt, pepper, and rosemary to your liking, then lightly coat with oil. Place potatoes on a baking pan, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove potatoes from oven and gently toss, turning the potatoes over as needed. Bake for another 25 minutes or until potatoes are done roasting.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large heavy bottom skillet on the stove and pour just enough olive oil to light coat the bottom of the pan (about 2 Tbsp). Sauté garlic, dried basil, and onion until fragrant. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sear each chicken breast side for about 6 minutes. When you have about 4 minutes left, add the freshly cut tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook down for about the last 4 minutes of cooking. Place one cup of spinach onto a plate followed by a large spoonful of the balsamic tomato reduction and top off with the seared chicken breast. Serve with the roasted rosemary potatoes on the side and viola!

Chicken Teriyaki

For brine:

  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 Tbs dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs mirin (I went to three stores looking for this and could only find it at Kroger)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For teriyaki sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp mild flavored honey
  • 6 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp mirin
  • 6 Tbsp sake

Combine the water, soy sauce, brown sugar and mirin in large ziploc bag and add the chicken breasts. Press out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Let this sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

To make the teriyaki sauce, just add the honey, soy sauce, mirin and sake to a small sauce pan and boil over medium heat until the sauce is glossy and slightly viscous (it won’t get quite as thick as the jarred types). It should take on a caramelized taste but be careful not to burn it.

When you’re ready to grill the chicken, turn the broiler on and move the oven rack up to the upper position. Broil the chicken until brown then flip. Baste the chicken with teriyaki sauce and continue to broil until golden brown with just a few charred spots. Give the chicken one final baste with the teriyaki sauce and serve.

Florentine Pasta with Roast Chicken Meatballs

(I have not yet made this recipe, but my wonderful friend Julie made this for me last week and it was excellent!)


  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 pound of penne
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breasts
  • 2-3 fresh rosemary sprigs, stripped and finely chopped
  • 2 tsps fennel seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1.5 cups grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp  oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 (10 oz) boxes of chopped frozen spinach, defrosted

Preheat the oven to 450.

Place a large pot of water on to boil. When it comes to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

While the water is coming to a boil, shred the raw chicken breasts in a food processor. In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded chicken, salt and pepper, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano, the egg, and the bread crumbs. If the mixture is too wet, add another handful of breadcrumbs. Use an ice cream scooper to form several small balls. Coat the balls in a couple of tablespoons of oil and lightly grease a rimmed cookie sheet with another tablespoon of oil. Arrange the balls on the sheet and roast for 17-18 minutes or until the juices run clear.

While the meatballs roast, melt the butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cook for one minute, then whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook for 5-6 minutes to thicken. Stir in the remaining cup of grated parmigiano and reduce heat to the lowest setting.

Add the spinach to the white sauce, separating the clumps as you go. Mix thoroughly.

Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Pour the spinach sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Adjust the seasonings.

Serve the florentine pasta topped with the meatballs and enjoy!

My stomach was happy after all these meals, and I hope yours is too.

And please, please, puh-lease comment me with your favorite recipe. I am always looking for new things to try!


parking fail

March 17, 2010

here is how today looked:

woke up. worked out. showered. threw dinner in the crock pot. went into the garage to take some trash out. locked the door behind me out of habit. threw the trash out. tried to go back in and realized i was locked out. momentarily freaked out and thought i was locked in the garage for the rest of the day, or at least until dj realized i was missing from work and would come home and find me. panic resided when i remembered that (thankfully) about a month ago we had a garage door opener installed in the garage. opened the garage. walked to the bowmans house with wet hair in 45 degree weather wearing pajama pants and a not so modest tank top. thankfully, andrea was home and gave me her key to my house. went home. got ready for work. pulled into the parking lot, late-but-not-too-late. only to get a text from my sweet friend katie mayer asking me to check her twitter account. i found out (alongside the rest of the world) how my rushed morning led to a rushed parking job which led to an epic parking fail. which, by the by, i am only blaming my poor parking job on my supposedly rushed morning, when the reality is, it’s pretty common for me to park this way and it’s only a miracle that it’s taken this long for it to make it to twitter.

and now for katie’s infamous tweet that is surely to put me to shame amongst my staff…

“Parking spaces? Not for Courtney Hoffman…″