Friday, February 20, 2015

winter cooking slump

This is the time of year I go into semi-hibernation.

I wish that I was a bear.  Truly.

I would love to hibernate for at least 48 hours.

No cleaning, no cooking, no talking, no cooking.

Did I mention, no cooking?!?

Last February I hosted a casserole exchange with some friends in an attempt to get out of my cooking slump. It turned out to be great fun and I actually have another one in the works right now.

I'm not exactly sure why I despise cooking so much this time of the year.

I suspect that it has something to do with lower energy levels but maybe even more valid is the fact that my creativity is off  frolicking in a far away place like Timbuktu.

Truth is, I don't really just love following recipes.

I come alive when I am making my own modifications to a recipe or stirring together a few of my favorite ingredients to make something tasty.

Recently I tried two new dishes that my family has really enjoyed and since my creativity is off on an extended vacation, I just keep repeating the same dishes over and over again.

We all really love haystacks around this house. My children perform a happy dance when I tell them that haystacks are on the menu.

I was getting sick though of all the tiny side dishes and the mess following the meal.

I decided to try to streamline the haystack idea by baking a few of the ingredients together and serving it as a casserole.

I layered ( 2X):


Taco meat



Topped it off with Nachos.  Heated in the oven until bubbly.

Served with just 3 sides and our all time favorite salad dressing.

My family enjoys this just as much as haystacks and it is much easier to serve and clean up than traditional haystacks

My second creation is not original with me.  The idea comes from the mother of a life long friend. Vivian is an amazing cook so I had no doubts about trying one of her recipes.

Introducing: Hamburger Pizza.


pizza crust

ketchup & mustard (used in place of pizza sauce)

fried hamburger




Any additional toppings of your choice


Serve with fresh lettuce and tomatoes

Again, this was a hit with my family. It really doesn't taste much like traditional pizza at all, but more like a mouthful of summer!!!!

Speaking of which,  I'm anxious for some summertime freshness again!!!

Do you have any tried and true dishes that get you and your family through the long winter months?

I would love to hear your ideas!!!

Because two dishes, both of which include hamburger, lettuce and tomato, are going to get old mighty fast around here.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Update on Christopher

It's high time for a little update here on Christopher because I dislike seeing the horrifying pictures of my son and because some of you have been asking about him.

Thanks for caring about him and us.

Jesus has ministered his love to us deeply in so many ways and through so many people in the last 3 weeks.

I was stunned by how quickly so many people all over the world heard about Christopher and how many people were interceding for him. I can't tell you how many times I heard the phrase, "we are praying for your son".

There is NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING!!!! that compares with the love of Jesus that is expressed and shared and received among believers. It is the very love of the Father being manifest through his children.

We drank deeply of this love.

And now the promised report about Christopher.

They say a picture is worth a million words.

Christopher at my brother's wedding 2 weeks (minus one day) after his accident. I feel like I am looking at a miracle when I look at my son. Active. Bouncing. And back to his ornery old self.
Christopher has an appointment scheduled this coming Wednesday to see his doctors at Pittsburgh Children's Hospital.  We have no reason to expect anything but a positive report.  However, we are anxious to hopefully get permission for him to resume all boyish activities. It's been a constant battle to keep him from romping with his brothers.

Christopher's story has been a fun one to tell because it is full of restoration, health and the mighty hand of God.

We have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

We will not forget all that He has done!!!

We have had many reasons to rejoice in the past 3 weeks in addition to the health of our son.

 The birth of a beautiful and perfect baby girl  to our dear friends, Geryll and Carla

The beautiful marriage of Mr. & Mrs. Kyle A. Lehman