Marriage

27 Years Ago

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These two were in love and having a great time on their honeymoon in San Francisco. After twenty-seven years, these two are still in love. We may be a bit older, with a few more wrinkles, but hey, we’re still here by the grace of God. 

San Francisco was not our first choice for a honeymoon destination. We wanted to go to Paris. We were researching going to France, from books. Remember books? Ha ha ha!! This was the early days of the world wide web. My dad offered to send us to France if we exchanged a big fancy wedding for a much simpler one. That was incredibly generous of my dad. Thank you Dad! 

The decision ultimately came down to me. I was a very young, soon-to-be bride, who wanted my dream wedding. So I chose the beautiful, fancy wedding over the fantasy honeymoon. I don’t regret my wedding at all. I do regret not choosing Paris. I would like to tell twenty-two year old me, “Go to Paris, you dummy!”. My choice was made, and we had a fantastic honeymoon. Lots of great food and fun in an amazing city. 

We have nothing exciting planned to celebrate our anniversary today. Tom is working 12 hour night shifts right now, and he works tonight and all weekend. But that’s life. And sometimes, that’s married life. You go through challenges and challenging times. You have mountaintop experiences where you are high-fiving each other because you made it with the Lord’s help. And when you are in the valley together, you hug each other, and hold on to one another, and trust God to make a way. And He does make a way, every time. 

So today I celebrate my husband, Tom. He’s a good, Godly man, who leads our family, and works tirelessly to provide for us. I also celebrate the wonderful gift of marriage. God made marriage and it is good. Thank you Lord for carrying us all these years. It is by Your amazing grace that we are here today. You get all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise!

A little side note. I keep every card Tom has given me over the years because the words mean so much. He has always chosen the most gorgeous cards and I cherish them. I am a card hoarder. I feel better now that I confessed. Here is one of the anniversary cards he gave me, several years ago. It’s so pretty! 

 

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And though one may be overpowered, two can resist. Moreover, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Thanks for coming along with me today!

Love you all,

Meghan

Food

Grilled Salsa Roja

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My family loves salsa. We have eaten so much of this wondrous, spicy, delectable sauce over the years that it flows through our veins. That may be a slight exaggeration, but we have consumed our fair share of every kind of salsa. We love everything from restaurant salsa to store bought. Our favorite salsa is homemade.

Fresh salsa can’t be beat. This super simple recipe for salsa roja is fantastic. Just as good, if not better than any restaurant. A few minutes on the grill brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes while adding a rich flavor. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender works well too. If you have never made salsa this is a great one to try. 

Happy Eating!

You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

 

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Grilled Salsa Roja

Ingredients

2 lbs Roma tomatoes

1 large onion cut in half

3 to 6 garlic cloves

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper

juice of 2 limes

3/4 – 1 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Grill onion halves for 5 to 10 minutes. Long enough to char the onions, then remove them.
  3. Grill the tomatoes and jalapeño long enough to char them. When the tomato skins split on all sides remove them from the grill. This takes just a few minutes.
  4. Using tongs, remove the tomato skins and cut off the stems.
  5. Place grilled tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño in a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. Or place all ingredients in a regular blender and blend.
  6. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Notes:

  • Half of one jalapeño gives the perfect amount of spice. Add more or less to make it as hot as you like.
  • Add more or less garlic to your preference.

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Food

S’mores Bars

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I love s’mores. When our kids were little, camping was a summer tradition that included campfires and s’mores. There is something so heavenly about toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers. Kuddos to a Girl Scout troop leader, from many years ago, for creating this lovely treat. It’s now a classic.

I have been experimenting with these wonderful bars since last summer. I wanted all the goodness of a s’more without the use of a campfire. After many attempts and tweaks, I feel good about sharing this winning dessert with all of you. It’s so simple, yet full of the perfect amount of sweetness to put a smile on your face.

No fire is required, just the heat of your oven. The Hershey chocolate bar is essential to get that nostalgic taste. Feel free to use chocolate chips if you prefer. Use as much or as little marshmallows. Tweak the toppings to your liking. Bring this to a barbecue or a potluck for a fun treat. To all my s’more loving friends out there, you will love this one. Enjoy!

Happy Eating!

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9

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S’mores Bars

Ingredients

3/4 cup salted butter ( 12 tablespoons) softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2 sleeves of graham crackers ( use 14 for the crust and the remaining 4 crackers for the topping)

6 Hershey chocolate bars (regular size)

10 oz. bag of mini marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
  2. Place 14 graham crackers for the crust in a food processor to make fine crumbs. Break up 4 graham crackers into bigger chunks and save for the topping.
  3. Using a hand mixer, cream butter and sugars. Add the egg yolk, and the graham cracker crumbs. Mix until combined. Press the crust mixture evenly into pan.
  4. Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly brown. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Place 6 Hershey bars on the hot crust. As the chocolate melts use a rubber spatula to spread out evenly.
  6. Sprinkle approximately 1 to 2 cups of the marshmallows on the melted chocolate. Now sprinkle about half of the broken graham cracker crumbs on top. Add another 1/2 to 1 cup of marshmallows on top of that. Now add the remaining graham cracker crumbs.
  7. Change the oven to broil on low. Put the bars under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes depending on how toasted you want the marshmallows. Stay by the oven and watch. Marshmallows can burn quickly. Let cool. Cut into bars and enjoy!

Notes:

  • Place the warm bars in the fridge to speed up cooling.
  • Spray a knife with cooking spray for easier cutting.
  • Store at room temp to keep the marshmallows soft.
  • Extend the foil or parchment over the edge of the baking dish and then pull the bars out when you are ready to cut.
  • Use as much or as little marshmallows as you prefer.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, use a freezer bag and a rolling pin to smash the graham crackers.

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Food

Mexican Street Corn

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There is nothing like fresh, local corn in the summer. Grilled, and covered in butter has always been my favorite way to eat it. I now have a new favorite way to enjoy corn on the cob. Mexican Street Corn, or elote, is so delicious I may never go back to plain old butter. This fantastic portable concoction is a common street food in Mexico. It’s covered in a creamy sauce and coated with cotija cheese. After my first bite I was hooked, and I think you will be too. 

Corn and Mexico have a long history. In America we are used to the standard golden kernels that we find at farmers markets and grocery stores. In Mexico corn can be white, red, yellow, blue, and black. Some ears even have several colors. There are fifty-nine varieties of corn native to Mexico. A majority of Mexican farmers still save their seeds and plant native strains. Corn is a big deal in Mexico.

Street food is a big deal in Mexico too. No trip south of the border is complete without it. With the trend of food trucks, much of this street food can be found here in the U.S. at local markets and fairs. Or, you can make this deliciousness at home. It cooks up quickly on the grill. 

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:9

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

 

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 garlic clove minced

juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon chili powder

6 ears of corn

½ cup crumbled cotija cheese

¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 400°.
  2. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, lime juice, and chili powder.
  3. Place husked corn directly onto grill grates. Grill for several minutes on each side until the kernels turn golden and charred. Remove corn from the grill onto a plate.
  4. Using a brush spread the cream mixture on all sides of the corn.
  5. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and cilantro.

 

Notes:

*I folded back the husks and tied them with twine. It creates a pretty handle.

*Feta or Parmesan cheese can replace cotija cheese.

* Mexican crema, which is slightly salty, can be used instead of sour cream. 

*You may want to add a little salt if you use sour cream.

 

sickness, Trials

Vulnerable

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This adorable little stray cat showed up in our backyard a couple months ago. We left a dish of water for her and eventually started leaving out some food as well. She shows up throughout the day meowing wanting attention and something to eat. It took a while for her to come near us. Now she rubs against our legs, but she’s still very cautious.

Since the days have become extremely hot she disappears until early morning and late evening. I have no idea where she goes throughout the day but she sure likes to see us. She is a vulnerable cat with no home providing her protection, so we do what we can to help her. Her visits with us are brief as she is always on the move.

Our little feline friend is vulnerable to all sorts of dangers. Being vulnerable is not something we humans purposely choose. We do everything we can to avoid being vulnerable. The reality of how frail our human lives really are smacked me right in the face when Tom and I both got sick with covid. I was down for almost two weeks and it took Tom a little longer to recover.

It was pretty rough but we survived and we are on the other side by the grace of God. I felt like I was living out the movie Groundhog Day. Each crummy day was on repeat until we got better. When you get sick you are helpless to some extent. I can do my part by drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins, and getting rest. By the way, getting rest was no problem since all we wanted to do was sleep.

Regardless of my choices, I’m still vulnerable. We had to trust God that He would get us through our sickness to the other side. Tom and I know our lives, our times, our health, and everything are in God’s mighty hands. Suffering is not fun. Sickness is terrible. But God cares for His children.

I couldn’t pray much because I was just surviving. We had many wonderful people praying for us, and checking on us which was a huge blessing. One verse that came to mind during our illness was from James.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. James 5:15, NIV 

I held on to that verse. It’s one of my favorites when dealing with sickness. I believe those words. God made us well.

Another truth that came to mind while being sick was the incredible reality that there will be no sickness in Heaven. How amazing is that? Glory! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! We will never be sick in Heaven.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4, NIV 

We are vulnerable in our brief lives. Sometimes we think we are unstoppable, and can do whatever we want, whenever we want. Sickness, trials, and tribulations remind us of our human frailty. These difficulties that we all experience, are opportunities for our faith to grow. It’s humbling to be sick. You don’t feel strong, you are weak.

In humility, we can fully trust God to help us in our time of need. God helps us like no person can. There is only one Heavenly Father, and He loves helping His sons and daughters.

If you are feeling vulnerable right now, please know you are not alone. We are all vulnerable on this side of Heaven. God is waiting, and always available to answer you in your time of need. His will, His way. Trust Him. He’s got you.

Love you all,

Meghan