Food, mustard seed sentinel

Baked Feta Pasta

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This pasta is quite famous. Baked feta pasta gained stardom on Tik Tok in 2019. Blogger Tiiu Piret shared a version of the pasta bake on her blog in 2018.  Finnish blogger Jenni Hayrenin posted her version of the feta pasta dish on her blog the very next year and it went viral.  BAKED FETA PASTA – ORIGINAL RECIPE – Liemessä

With so much hype is it actually good? I say yes. After some experimenting and modifications I came up with my own version of baked feta pasta. It’s pretty much the same. I just made a few tiny changes like adding spinach and onion.

This simple pasta bake is creamy, savory, and a little tangy. Roasting tomatoes with olive oil, and garlic is always a winning combo. The addition of soft feta makes the sauce scrumptious. Cheese and tomato are great partners in any recipe. 

Baked feta pasta is a trend that lives up to its fame. It’s inexpensive to make and you can modify the ingredients to your liking. Change up your pasta recipes with this delectable dish. 

Happy Eating!

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8 

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Baked Feta Pasta 

 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings 

 

Ingredients

1 lb pasta

2 pints grape tomatoes

1 (8 oz) block feta cheese 

½ cup olive oil

½ yellow onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced in half

¼ teaspoon red pepper flake

salt

fresh ground black pepper 

fresh thyme, chopped 

fresh oregano, chopped

fresh basil, chopped

large bunch of spinach, chopped

½ cup pasta water

 

Instructions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400° 
  2. In a medium sized baking dish, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh thyme, and oregano. Pour about ¾ of the olive oil over the tomato mixture. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Toss everything to coat.
  3. Place the feta in the center of the pan and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes until the tomatoes and feta are browned.
  5. While the tomatoes are in the oven, cook the pasta of your choice according to the package directions. Right before draining the cooked pasta, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Add fresh chopped spinach to the hot water, then drain. 
  6. Once the tomatoes and feta have cooked, take a spoon and break it up and combine everything. Stir in the fresh basil. Add the pasta and spinach. Stir in the ½ cup pasta water. Give it a taste, and add more salt and pepper to your liking, 
  7. Enjoy!

Notes

* Use any type of pasta. The original recipe used spaghetti. 

* The pasta water really helps thin out the sauce.

* Greek feta works best.

* Try cream cheese or goat cheese if you don’t like feta. 

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For this recipe and more, go to the link below to access Mustard Seed Sentinel. 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-baked-feta-pasta

Jesus

Unflappable

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Recently, my youngest son’s golf coach suggested he watch some of the Masters Golf Tournament. We watched the highlights from the competition showcasing the best golfers in the world. A young man named Scottie Scheffler won. Only twenty-five years old, and a true master of the game. One reporter described Mr. Scheffler as unflappable. What a brilliant word that seems to have disappeared.

Dictionary.com defines unflappable as:

not easily upset or confused, especially in a crisis; imperturbable.

I love a great word, and unflappable is an excellent word that needs used more. It got me thinking about living up to such a quality. Am I unflappable? No. I can be, but many times I am not. Do I want to be unflappable? Yes. I think I have been more flappable in my life, then unflappable.

I have every reason as a Christ Follower to be unflappable, yet I struggle. The crisis comes and I crumble. I start out strong, believing God will make a way, yet as time goes on I start to doubt. Fear creeps in my mind and I collapse. But God, in His never ending grace and mercy reaches out His hand, and picks me up. He dusts me off, and gives me the strength to stand, once again.

Our foundation is on the Rock.

Every Christian has the potential to be unflappable when the hard times come. We won’t always hit the mark and will fall short, but the goal is to stand firm in our faith and not waiver. We must rely on Jesus to be unflappable. On our own we will falter. With Christ we can keep our joy, and peace, and hope because we know He will get us through the crisis.

And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Matthew 7:25, NASB

Jesus taught about the wise and foolish builders. The foolish man built his house on sand. When the storms came the house crashed because of its weak foundation. The wise man built his house upon solid rock, and his house withstood the storms. The wise man is the believer whose foundation is the solid Rock of Christ. The fool is the man who has rejected Jesus’ teachings, and has an unstable foundation of sand.

Our confidence is in the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ.

I took the picture of that massive boulder because it reminded me of the solid ground I stand on. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the rock is huge. I’m sure that rock has experienced some storms in its long life, yet it has survived, and probably learned a thing or two along the way.

I’m grateful for Jesus, my Rock. He is my sure foundation. He holds me up, and at times picks me up. I have gone through some pretty awful crisis in my life, and my Jesus has been faithful to see me through. He has never left me, not once. He’s not going to leave you either.

My goal is to be unflappable in this crazy world. I cannot achieve this just by thinking positively or trying really hard. I can do this through Christ. I will fail at times, but I will get back up as He holds my hand.

Eyes on Jesus. He is everything.

Love you all,

Meghan

Food, mustard seed sentinel

Mini Quiche

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The quintessential brunch food is quiche. It’s got a fancy name and it’s associated with a fancy meal. Quiche is actually very simple to make, and can be enjoyed every day. A flaky pastry filled with eggs, milk, and cheese are the base for this savory pie. 

Spinach, bacon, and onions are delicious in quiche. You can use a variety of cheeses, vegetables, and meats. Be as creative as you want. Making mini quiches is a fun way to customize them to your liking. 

They freeze well and make a great breakfast on the go. Mini quiche would be a wonderful addition to a holiday celebration. Quiche is a versatile dish. It’s filling and can be used in a variety of ways. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner time are perfect for these small pies. 

Happy Eating!

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

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Mini Quiche

Yield: 24

Ingredients

2 unbaked pie crusts (homemade or store bought)

6 eggs

2 cups milk

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Filling

shredded cheese (Swiss, cheddar, mozzarella, Gruyere)

crumbled cheese (feta, blue)

bacon bits

chopped ham

chopped turkey

spinach

onion

mushroom

tomato

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined.
  4. Roll out the pie crust. Use a 3 inch round cutter to make approximately 12 mini crusts per pie crust. 
  5. Place each circle of pastry into the greased muffin pan, gently pressing them to the bottom and sides.
  6. Put a tablespoon of filling into each pastry shell. 
  7. Pour the egg mixture over the filling, being careful not to overfill. 
  8. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until the quiche is puffed and the pastry is golden brown.
  9. Cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Use a knife to carefully remove the mini quiches. Enjoy!

Notes 

*Use half whole milk, and half  heavy cream for a richer taste.

*Don’t worry if you overfill a few quiches. They will still cook well and taste good. 

* Store leftover quiches in the refrigerator.

* Cool the mini quiches before freezing. 

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https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-mini-quiche 

God, Trials

Remember What God Has Done

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March 9th, 2021 was a day that started out quite normal. Tom was getting some lab work done to prepare for hernia surgery. We had no worries about his tests. I went about my day, and had just finished my grocery shopping. I was waiting at the red light across from our neighborhood. Very ordinary, regular stuff.

My light turned green, and I drove across the intersection. Immediately, my peripheral vision noticed something moving at me fast, very fast. It was a car. I knew I would be hit because there was no escape. Wham!!! I was struck on the front driver’s side so hard that my head slammed into the window. It was like slow motion. I thought to myself, “I’m going to be injured. This is bad.”

I waited for it all to stop, and somehow my vehicle made it to the side of the road. I called 911 and it was like a circus with police, and tow truck drivers. As I was standing there in complete shock of what just happened, Tom texted me that he was being sent to the hospital for blood transfusions. I quickly sent him a text back letting him know about the accident. We were both at the mercy of God, and other people, to take care of us.

Looking back at a very difficult time in our lives I see God’s hands. He protected me in the car accident. I walked away, and so did the other driver. We both could have been killed. I sustained very minor injuries and my brain seems to still work properly. Praise God!

Tom’s journey to recovery was a long one involving blood transfusions, hospitalization, surgeries, never ending lab work, lots of bad news from specialists, and many unanswered questions. He was in tremendous pain for months because of a catheter. The list for my husband’s suffering is a long one, but he never complained. I see God’s hand over Tom, and his health.

This week I can’t help but look back and remember God’s faithfulness to us during a very dark time. He was there the whole time. God never left us, and He never will.

When going through a difficult time it can be easy to focus all our energy on the problem, and then worry and fear creeps in. The difficulty can be so overwhelming that we can’t see beyond it, and we forget entirely, that God is on our side.

A quick fix to this feeling of fear and dread is to remember what God has done for us in the past when we thought for sure there was no way we were going to make it. But we did make it, because God took care of us. He did it before, and He will do it again.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:2, NASB

The children of Israel had short term memory loss while they were in the desert. The Israelites were miraculously set free from the Egyptians by the Lord. Yet, they forgot what God did for them time, and time again. A problem would come up and they would complain and do something foolish, like make a golden calf and worship it.

Over and over again, God says to the Israelites “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.” He was constantly reminding them what He had done for them because He knew what they were capable of by forgetting Him. Idol worship, breaking the commandments, forgetting who God was, and ultimately hurting themselves, were just some of the bad consequences of their selfish choices.

God will never break a promise. He made a covenant with the children of Israel. So when they cried out to Him, He answered.

So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them. Exodus 2:24-25, NASB

God was for the Israelites, and God is for you.

Are we any different than the Israelites? I have panicked when God doesn’t do what I want, when I want it. Then I try to fix things my way and it’s a mess. God graciously picks me up and helps me out because of Jesus, and His mercy and forgiveness.

Remember what God has done in your life. The times He showed up when the situation looked impossible. He provided, protected, and healed. He held you, comforted you, and spoke right to your heart. Write them down. Look back on them regularly. Thank God for His faithfulness. He’s not going to leave you.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13: 5b-6, NKJV

Love you all,

Meghan

God's Peace

Feeling Anxious?

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If anxiety is weighing you down, you are in good company. There are plenty of people around the world feeling anxious. We have more than enough problems, and potential problems, to keep us all feeling a lack of peace. This world is a mess, and it’s getting messier. It’s quite easy to feel anxious. But, we don’t have to stay there.

We have hope. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have everything you need to get your peace back. Jesus knew we would have troubles. He never said it would be easy. But He did not end there.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, NIV

In Him we have peace. That is incredible. We can have peace in spite of the chaos. We can experience His supernatural peace in spite of the diagnosis, the painful loss, the empty bank account, the job loss, the trauma, the trial, the pain. We can rest in Him during life’s most anxious times.

We have peace because Jesus already took all our sin and nailed it to the cross. Because of Jesus we have victory over death, and continuous victory over every problem we face. He is with us and will help us.

One of my all time favorite Bible passages in Philippians has gotten me through so many hard times. I relied on these verses heavily when my dad was dying, twenty-four years ago. I still go back to these powerful words time, and time again.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7, NIV

The Lord is near, always! We are not to be anxious. In everything, by prayer, we can give all our requests over to the Lord. We can do this with a thankful heart knowing He has an answer and a plan. As a result we get the peace of God, which goes above and beyond any human understanding. This perfect peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

The world offers us peace that is circumstantial and fleeting. God gives us peace that goes beyond our circumstances. For He himself is our peace. Rest in Him today, knowing that He is right there with you. He knows every problem you have or will ever have, and He will make a way for you.

If you are too worn out to pray, read those words in Philippians. Write them down. Say them out loud, and know that God will replace your anxiety with His peace.

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

You are awesome, holy God. Thank you for peace, hope, and joy. For those who are weighed down with anxiety, lift their eyes up to Jesus. Replace their anxious thoughts with peace. Help them to stay in Your word. Give them the strength to pray and call on You. May they rest in Jesus and experience supernatural peace.

Amen