Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower

Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower

I am all about keeping things simple these days! There was a time before I gave birth to three of the pickiest eaters in the entire world, that I actually enjoyed making elaborate meals. Well, those days are now reserved for dinner parties and when we host the holidays–so like 2-3 times a year max. This fact does not mean that I don’t love good food. I have just had to learn to cook smarter, not harder.

Here is a super easy meal with very little ingredients required. Are you ready?

Ingredients:

5-6 Bone-in, skin-on chicken legs

1/4 cup Farm Boy (or equivalent) lemon garlic dressing

1/2 tsp Season salt

1 tbsp Dried rosemary

1 Head of cauliflower, quartered

Instructions:

In a slow cooker (are you really surprised?) place chicken legs, pour in dressing, and season with salt and rosemary leaves. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Remove from slow cooker and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, add additional seasoning if necessary. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until skin is golden and crispy.

While chicken is baking, in a medium pot, add cauliflower and about 1 cup of liquid from slow cooker (you may want to pour through a sifter). Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat. Cook until cauliflower is soft. Do not drain. Using either a masher or processer, cream the cauliflower to desired texture (I used a simple potato masher).

 

*Note* I love Farm Boy dressing because of it’s simple ingredients. I suspect you could find something similar at a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, or simply just make your own.
Have you tried this recipe? Tell me what you think!
What I Have To Give Is Enough For God

What I Have To Give Is Enough For God

I’m thinking back on the story in Luke 9 of Jesus feeding the large crowd of people. All of the gospels tell this story, but I love the little detail found in John 6:8: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish…”  There is a crowd of tired, hungry people far from town to hear Jesus, who couldn’t enter the town because word had spread of the miracles he had done. Here is this boy with his lunch, who probably overheard the conversation between Jesus and the disciples about this large crowd needing to eat. I imagine that the boy wanting to help, offered what he had. From that small offering, Jesus fed about 5000 people.

In yesterday’s post , I mentioned that I felt that what I had to give wasn’t enough. But the truth is God can take what I have and multiply it over and over. It’s not about what I have, it’s about what God can do with what I give him (rather, give back to him). As I start this new phase of my journey of walking in step with him, I will need to daily yield my talent, time, and resources to be used for His purposes, not my own. He will do the multiplying.

 

I changed the name of my blog to “By Purposeful Redesign”, which interestingly is the name I chose for my home decor business. I “redesign” a home by using what they have, moving things around to make the home more functional and beautiful. God has blessed me with this skill to be able to look at a room and see what needs to be removed or reordered for it to have better flow and purpose.

Isn’t that just what God does with us? When our lives are messy and we just can’t seem to help ourselves, we finally reach our breaking point and invite God in, and he rearranges everything into something beautiful. He can use what we have, even the broken pieces, to bless others.

What do you have–gifts, skills, and experiences–that God can use to bless others? Go to God and say, “Here. It’s not much, but it’s all yours.” and watch what He can do.

Starting Over With a New Mindset

Starting Over With a New Mindset

This year has been so difficult, and we aren’t even through February yet. My life in general is pretty good. My family is healthy and well provided for. I really have no legitimate reasons to complain. My struggle hasn’t been a physical one, but spiritual. As I have committed to spending time reading and meditating on Scripture every morning and expecting God to move, I have been battling my own self will as well as spiritual attacks like I have never experienced before. At times, I have felt that I just might break. I can go back in my journal and see days where I could not write more than a verse down. But God’s Word is the greatest weapon I have against these attacks, and on my lowest day, God brought me to Luke 12: 6-7:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

I remember forcing myself to write that down through tears, not even fully grasping it, and probably not really believing it. But that day, God allowed me to rest and feel renewed both physically and spiritually. What I realized is that the reason I felt so low was because I felt useless, and Satan took that and ran with it. God placed in my heart a desire to help others, to be generous, to see a need and help meet that need. I have been given so much, and I grew up learning from my mom who is always giving to others. For some reason, this past week, that desire to give just raged within me, but what I have to give just doesn’t feel like enough. I want to be able to give more.

So I have been praying, “God, how can I give more?”. God keeps bringing up, use what you have. Wait…what do I have? It blows my mind how God works…it really does because, right now, I have a tremendous and unique opportunity that will allow me to be able to give in ways that I can’t even fathom.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. -Isaiah 55:9

I went to bed December 31, 2017 believing 2018 would be all about me. I was excited because I had finally connected myself to someone who could actually help me take my business to the next level, rather God connected me to this person (I really believe that). The last couple of weeks I have struggled on what to do because I know that God didn’t want me chasing after success and wealth for myself. So I have been standing here with these incredible tools in my hands and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but not wanting to use them because I didn’t know if it was the right thing. Was I burying my talents, when I could be investing them in the Kingdom? 

What if the purpose of my January experience was not only to remind me to stop neglecting my spiritual gift, but also to shift my mindset from wealth building to generously giving? Honestly I’m not sure. All I know, is that I can’t just stand here. I have to take a step. God will either shut that door, or he will blow it wide open.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This week, my husband has been battling the flu and I’ve been praying that no one else gets it. So far we are in the clear. I am not a huge fan of chicken soup, but it’s one of my husband’s favorite comfort foods, so I whipped up a quick and easy batch to help him fight off this sickness.

Ingredients:

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1-2 Tbsps olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

4 stalks celery, sliced

5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

6 cups chicken broth

2 Tbsps rosemary

1 lemon, juiced

2 cups vermicelli noodles

Instructions:

In a large pot, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add garlic, celery, and carrots, and stir for about 5 min.  Add chicken, broth, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer on low for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove chicken and shred and return to pot. Stir in vermicelli noodles and let cook and additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Enjoy!

 

How To Be A Disciple Of Jesus – Part III: Lifestyle

How To Be A Disciple Of Jesus – Part III: Lifestyle

Today, I am finishing up this series on how to be a disciple or follower of Jesus. We have been focusing on Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'” If this is your first time visiting this blog, make sure you go back and read Part I and Part II of the series. Today, we are going to look at what Jesus meant when he said “follow me”.

I had planned to go into what it means to “be like Jesus”, but today God asked me to show you by sharing about friends of mine who are missionaries in Tonga. I believe they embody Luke 9:23 in a real way. Please take the time to watch their story.

You may not be aware, but Tonga was just hit with level 5 Cyclone Gita, and it did a lot of damage to this family’s home. As I am watching them share the aftermath of this cyclone on social media, what is so abundantly clear, humbling, and inspiring is their joy, gratitude, and unshakeable faith.  They have learned Philippians 4:11-13 that through Christ they can be content in any situation. I am so inspired and so challenged by their faith.

In a video they shared, Chris is walking through the debris into what I believe used to be their kitchen, and he points to a painting on the wall which quotes Isaiah 43:19, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams of water in the wasteland.” My verse!  It might seem strange, but I know God is going to move in a huge way for this family through this event.

Following  Jesus means that we live our lives in obedience to whatever he calls us to, whether it’s in moving to the wilds of Tonga, or across the country, or being a shining light to our neighborhood.  It’s a complete surrender of our own will to do what God wills. It is a complete surrender of our resources to be used to serve God and others. That is the example that Jesus set for us. He surrendered his own life for us in obedience to God.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Are you a disciple of Jesus? Does your life reflect that? Would you pray that God would show you where you could follow Him better?

If you would like to help Chris and Ashley recover from the storm and rebuild their home. I have set up a gofundme page for them. Thanks in advance for your generosity and support for this amazing family.