Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Not a recipe but… September 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 10:22 am

My world is crazy and my kids are always hungry so in an effort to give my kids healthy choices for snacks here is what I have done…

Stalk up on veggies that are on sale.

Cut up veggies in the beginning of the week.

Whenever my kids ask for a snack I  bust out the veggies and a low fat ranch dressing or peanut butter.  Everyone likes to dip!  This also helps them discern whether they are hungry or bored :)


Healthy Snacks Week September 28, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Andie @ 12:14 pm

Would you believe that I have been sneaking spinach into my kids snacks?  I know that green smoothies are not a new idea. But, I have just now started making them several times a week so that I can rest assured that my kids are getting the fruits and veggies I want them to. I got my recipe from Passionate Homemaking. I have copied the recipe and her comments from that site and below I make notes for any adaptations I have made.

Green Smoothies


Blend and add a little stevia or honey to sweeten and any additional boosters.

1 1/2 cups of liquids (I usually use a combination of water, coconut milk, and kefir)
3 oz or more fresh greens, which is approximately half a bag or 3 large handfuls (spinach or kale are best!) –start with smaller quantities and work you way up!
2-3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, optional (this is a more frugal alternative than using pre-mixed juices – it stretches the juice further)

After these ingredients are thoroughly blended, you can add an assortment of fruit.

Here are our favorite additions:

1/2-1 cup Frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 cup Frozen Pineapple
2-3 Frozen Peach slices

I have also used canned pears on occasion as well.

Andie’s notes:

-I make sure to blend the spinach in with the liquids first until the pieces are barely noticeable.  Then, it is safe to add the rest of the ingredients. I almost always use 1 cup kefir from Trader Joes (TJs). It is a little spendy, but I only use a cup per smoothie and then water.  Someday, I will get brave and make my own kefir.

-Kefir is good for digestive health. Multiple probiotics.

-I use frozen spinach when  I don’t have fresh. But, ALDI carries bags of spinach for cheap, so that’s not too spendy. ALDI also has many of the frozen fruits reasonably priced.

-Color of these can vary. If you add a strawberry or blueberry addition, add enough so it doesn’t turn that ugly brown color. :) Though, I have found that my kids will eat it even if it’s ugly!

-You seriously can’t taste the spinach.  The frozen concentrated orange juice really  covers the taste.

-Banana, Pineapple and coconut milk (99 cents cans at TJ’s) blend really yummy and will result in a green colored smoothie.


Tasty and easy to make in a flash September 24, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Kate @ 6:00 am

Bean Soup
This is a tasty recipe that is super easy to make and most of the ingredients you can just pull out of the pantry!
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can northern beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 16 oz jar salsa
1 lb sausage
Brown the sausage in a large stock pot and drain off the fat, then pour in the rest of your ingredients and heat.  DO NOT drain the beans, just pour the beans in with the juices … trust me, it’s tasty!  Serve with your favorite grated cheese and/or sour cream!


Quick and Easy! Soft Black Bean Tostadas September 22, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Leah @ 3:10 pm

We almost always have a can of black beans around and some random tortillas in the freezer, making this an easy- and healthy- dinner for us!  We’ve found it’s our favorite way to use up leftover taco makings too!

bean-tostadas-ck-1141960-lSoft Black Bean Tortillas

(original recipe can be found here, this is our simplified version)

2 T. water

2 T. lime juice

1/2 t. ground cumin

1/8 t. salt

1/8 t. ground red pepper (cayanne)

1 – 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained

4 tortillas (we use flour if we can)

1 cup shredded chicken (we use leftover taco beef or chicken that’s been tossed in the freezer

jack cheese (or whatever kind you have on hand, 3/4 cup is plenty for all four tostadas)


sour cream


avocado, optional

Spin the water, lime juice, cumin, red pepper, salt, and black beans in a food processor or blender.  Spread evenly over the four tortillas.  Top tortillas evenly with meat and cheese.  Put under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until brown on the edges.  Top with lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and avocado.


(disclaimer on the picture:  I promise they are way better than this picture looks…apparently this was the best shot cooking light had of it….)


Fast EASY dinners September 21, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Andie @ 1:33 pm

I always laugh at Real Simple Magazine’s version of fast dinners. I think, “I haven’t heard of these ingredients, much less do I have them on hand!!” And so we brainstormed this topic to share some fast dinners on those nights where you just didn’t have a plan. Like most of our posts they aren’t meant to be ground breaking, just something to help if you are stuck in a rut.

Italian Quesadillas


mozzarella cheese

italian spices

spaghetti sauce for dipping

This is a twist on an old standard that I really like. Basically, you just make them like regular quesadillas, by putting the cheese and the spices inside two tortillas and cooking them on medium in a fry pan. I just use a tad of butter for the first one. The others usually don’t require any.

Breakfast for dinner Pancakes

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups milk

1/4 cup oil

1 3/4 cup flour

2 T sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Combine and cook! :) We top our pancakes with applesauce for a nice change that’s not as sweet as syrup.


Francesca Battistelli September 18, 2009

Filed under: Products we like — Leah @ 6:00 am

FranCvr350x350I love this chick! (…AND my husband and I “discovered” her before her music hit the major markets…isn’t it fun when that happens?!)  :-)  I think she’s super talented, super encouraging, and her music is a great mix of laid back and upbeat all at once.  We think she’s great and hope you do too!


My Favorite Music in the Morning September 17, 2009

Filed under: Products we like,Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 2:25 pm


My favorite song is “Joy.”