Tag Archives: MOPS

Homemade Croutons

18 Apr

This is a public service announcement.

It seems for years we have been doing our salad injustice!  We take our beautiful fresh garden greens and top it with stale, artificial tasting, bagged croutons. Why?  Because we didn’t realize making our own was so easy!

I have always been a sorta like croutons kind of girl but once I started making my own, they have pretty much become more than just a salad topping.  My family will eat these for a snack, my daughter’s boyfriend asks to take some home whenever he comes for dinner, and friends and family are always wanting the recipe.

Because I consider you all friends…I want to share the recipe with you too!

Keep reading for the salad changing printable recipe.

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The stars of the show. 8 simple, mostly pantry staples.

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Get your butter, oil and spices in a 9×13 baking dish and place that in your pre-heated oven.

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Cube your baguette into bite size pieces.

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After about 30 minutes, this gloriousness happens! Crispy without the expensive dentist bill and so flavorful!

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Garden fresh salad topped right!

 

Click here for the printable recipe.

See, simple right?

Is there something you make homemade that is much better than store bought?  Please share a link or comment down below, I would love to check it out!

Thanks for visiting.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

You can also find me on Pinterest

 

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Joy in Thanksgiving

26 Nov

For me, true joy is found in contentment in where you are, growth from where you have been, expectation of what is to come and gratitude to God for his indescribable gift that daily leads us to a victorious life. When we are in Christ we can find peace in all circumstances. Where there is joy there is thanksgiving.

Today I pray for healed hearts, second chances, grace, happy memories, thoughtful reflections, full bellies, genuine laughter, patience, tenderheartedness, and love.

Happy Thanksgiving! May God Bless you and your families.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

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Cream Cheese Corn Casserole

24 Nov

 

Since I have been on a Thanksgiving recipe roll, I figured I have time to share one more simple, decadent, delicious, recipe.

So if you are interested in being the veggie hero once again…keep on reading for the recipe.

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Seven ingredients is all you need.

 

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In a skillet melt the cream cheese and butter over low heat. If your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature this will take about 5 minutes. Don’t panic, it will look a little lumpy and bumpy until your whisk in the milk.

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Add the milk and whisk until smooth.

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Add corn and salt and pepper. Go ahead and give it a taste test or three….you know, to make sure it is seasoned properly 🙂

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Add to your greased baking dish and sprinkle with cheese…don’t be shy.

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Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot, bubbly, deliciousness is achieved.

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Resist the urge to cut into it right away. Let this beauty set for at least 5 minutes before serving!

You can watch how I make it here

 

Cream Cheese Corn Casserole

by Rebecca Vahdat

Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes

Keywords: bake side Thanksgiving Christmas winter

 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 Cup milk
  • 4 Cups of corn (18 oz.bag of frozen corn, thawed OR-15 oz. cans, drained).
  • 1 Cup Pepper Jack OR Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 inch baking dish and set aside.

In a pot melt together cream cheese and butter over low heat.

Add milk and stir until mixture is smooth.

Add corn and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Add mixture to greased baking dish and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Bake uncovered 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Let set 5 minutes before serving.

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See, couldn’t be more simple.  This casserole has earned its rightful place as a star attraction on our Thanksgiving table.

I would love to know what you will be serving this holiday season. Leave a comment, recipe, or a link to your blog. I would LOVE to check it out!

Thanks for visiting and have a Happy and blessed Thankgiving!

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

 

 You can also find me on Pinterest

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Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

19 Nov

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mama’s classic back of the can green bean casserole….so much in fact that I probably make once or twice a year beyond Thanksgiving. But….sometimes a girl has gotta have options.  So, if you’re looking to add a little something new and surprising on your holiday table, I promise you will be the Thanksgiving hero with this recipe!

If you’re interested in this recipe keep reading.

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Go ahead and gather up your ingredients.

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Go ahead and cook up your bacon. I like to put my bacon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place bacon in oven and heat to 400 degrees. Cook until desired doneness. We like ours nice and crispy. Do yourself a favor, go ahead and add an extra slice or two to the pan. It’s inevitable, a piece or two won’t make it into the casserole. Keep that bacon grease, you will need it for later.

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Drain bacon on a paper towel and give it a quick chop.

 

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While the bacon is cooking go ahead and get your green beans cooking. I use frozen, so I cook them in a small amount of salted, boiling water for about 8 minutes.

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I use frozen corn so I add it to the green beans during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.  Drain excess water and set aside.

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In a large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients except for the onions.

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Add the green beans, corn, and bacon to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.

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Grease a 9×13 baking pan and bake to heavenly deliciousness!

Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

by Rebecca Vahdat

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Keywords: bake side Thanksgiving Christmas Easter American

 

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound frozen green beans
  • 1 1/2 C. frozen corn
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C. mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 C. French fried onions

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400.

Thoroughly spray a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.

Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and coarsely chop. Reserve some of the bacon drippings.

Bring a small amount of lightly salted water to a boil. Add green beans and bring back up to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for 6-8 minutes. Add the frozen corn to the green beans during the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Drain excess water and set vegetables aside.

In a large bowl combine all the additional ingredients except the French fried onions and mix well. Add the vegetables and bacon to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.

Add green bean mixture to prepared baking dish. Drizzle a Tablespoon or two of the reserved bacon drippings over the casserole.

Add 1/4 C. of the French fried onions to the top of your casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes. Remove foil and add the additional french fried onions during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

I hope this simple yet delicious recipe becomes a game changer during your holidays too!

Thanks for visiting!

~Be Blessed and Be a Blessing~
Rebecca

You can also find me on Pinterest

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To All the Mama’s……

10 May
To all the mama’s who do this alone, to all the mama’s who chose life, to all those mama’s who chose to give that life to another woman, to all those women who wake to feel the sting of empty arms, to al those mama’s who never felt life grow in their bodies but love the children who grew in their hearts just the same, to all those mama’s who stepped in to raise another woman’s child because they were no longer able to, to all those mama’s who have angel babies, to all the mama’s who are caring for children with special needs, to all the ladies who don’t have the official title of mom but love just the same, and to all the people who think of their mama’s in heaven today………He sees you, sees every tear, and holds you in the palm of His hand. Today I honor you and pray that the love of God will bring you strength, comfort, and joy!
Happy Mother’s Day!
~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca
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A Letter to my Daughter…

13 Oct

The world will tell you that beauty can be found in a certain bra size or certain jean size but the truth is is that beauty is found in your heart size.  Let me be honest, you will be judged on these and so much more and it will sting.  The enemy uses those weak spots, those areas we are most conscious about to wiggle his way in and whisper destruction to your soul. Don’t be fooled or transformed by the vainness of the world but rather inspire true beauty even when it is hard or ignored or mocked.

Women, in particular, are digging themselves into pits so vast that they can’t find their way out. Their struggle to conform is killing them.  Maybe not always physically but emotionally. Searching for that one magic thing that will all of a sudden transform their lives from mediocre to magnificent.

It’s amazing the depths we will go for vanity or pleasure and how shallow our efforts are toward the Lord.  Proverbs 31:30 reminds women that our physical beauty will fail us all eventually.

We are so busy chasing someone else’s best 10 seconds that we lose sight on how terrific our life can be. Until we center our focus on the Creator and let Him lead us through the beautiful mess of life we will never find the magnificent we are looking for-it doesn’t exist apart from the Lord!

When you start to see yourself and your life through the eyes of our Creator you will be transformed by the marvelous creation you are.  It is then that you will truly see and understand your gifts, talents, and the greater purpose of your life.  Matthew 10:39  reminds us that if we are only concerned about finding ourselves first you will never will but if you pursue the Lord first you will find both Him and you.  So pursue the Lord with eagerness and expectation!

Fill those cracks and gaps in your armor with the life giving words of God and focus your efforts on becoming who He says you are!  Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and hold you accountable.  God never intended us to make this journey alone.  Female friendships in the media are always portrayed as conniving, selfish and, jealous.  Women using and abusing each other in hopes of gaining power and popularity.  Don’t buy into the lie.  Sisterhood, when Christ centered, can be one of the biggest blessings of life.

It’s not always easy but with that foundation of Christ in place whatever the stumble, you have that compass always pointing you back to the arms of the one who makes everything beautiful….even the broken and messy.

 

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

 

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It Also Looks Like This

30 Aug

I would like to introduce you to Thomas. He is the 8 year old best friend of my son Jacob and the son of my dear friend, Joelle.  These precious boys have been friends since diapers and are definitely two peas in a pod.  They love to be together doing all those neat things little boys like to do. They run, climb, and jump and when they have done all of that, they fall into a heap laughing like only innocence allows. No matter how much fun they have the same conflict always arises.  There is a constant disagreement with Thomas’s mind and his legs.  After a short time of boy play Thomas starts to get an all too familiar ache and stiffness in his legs.  He wants to keep going but his little body says no.  You see, Thomas was born with Muscular Dystrophy, Becker Muscular Dystrophy to be exact.

When we think Muscular Dystrophy we automatically think of young, wheel chair bound, gravely ill, children or more recently, ALS, thanks to the recent awareness from the ice bucket challenge.  Becker Muscular Dystrophy usually presents itself slow and steady.  Thomas has experienced gradual changes in mobility throughout the years but the changes are definitely a challenge not only to Thomas but to his family.  Without a cure, his days of depending on his arms and legs are numbered.

Thanks to MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association), they have been able to access state of the art services, help, and support they need to help Thomas strive. Great breakthroughs have happened thanks to the research grants and clinical trials and studies they have been able to fund.  The MDA association has given hope to families when all seemed hopeless.

This weekend, when you flip through your TV channels and see the MDA telethon, would you please take a moment and make a donation.  Even a small donation helps in giving hope to families like Thomas’s.

Our greatest prayer is that Jacob and Thomas can experience being old men together and that their laughter will continue to fill our lives for all of our days.

Jacob and Thomas doing what they do best!

Jacob and Thomas doing what they do best

I am inspired by this family’s courage, their joy, and mostly their faith. If you would like to learn more about MDA or would like information on how you can help just click on the link.  http://mda.org/  Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

If you make a donation we would love to thank you! Please use #mdaforthomas on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

#mdaforthomas Becker MD awareness

Jacob wants a lab coat for Christmas so he can be the Doctor who cures Thomas.

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~

Rebecca

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The Original Teen Mom

31 Oct

18 years ago today I was 17.  It was my senior year of high school or at least it should of been. I was that girl. You all knew her. That girl in high school who suddenly disappeared from the halls-the girl who got pregnant in high school. Let me tell you, it wasn’t trendy 18 years ago to be that girl. There were no television shows or magazine covers to glamorize it.

At 23 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor. For a week they were able to pump enough medication into me to delay delivery. Halloween 1995 at 24 weeks pregnant I welcomed my 1 lb 12 oz baby girl into the world. The doctor laid her briefly on my chest before being whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. Hours later I was wheeled down to get a glimpse at my daughter. She was covered in tubes and wires and her eyes were still fused shut. She was beautiful despite it all.

Her outcome was bleak. I was told to prepare for wheel chairs, feeding tubes, extreme mental impairments and the list went on. Some said it was what I deserved for being a teen mom, others said that I got myself into this so I would have to deal with this on my own, and I was ridiculed by the rest. Let me tell you, it was a dark, terrifying, lonely time.

No matter, everyday I was there mothering her as much as I could under the extreme circumstances. Two and half months later and one month and one day before her due date, Alison beat the odds and came home months ahead of schedule weighing a hefty 4lbs 7 oz. Not only did she come home but she stayed home. The first few months were rough. Sleeping for only 45 minutes at a time, countless doctor appointments, and financial hardship.

Alison beat the odds in ways that doctors can’t explain. It wasn’t an easy ride but we made it.

I could go on, the story is good….well, at least I think so:) I share the good with the bad. The triumphs with the tragedies. No, it wasn’t ideal to be a pregnant teenager. I see my daughter now at the age I was when she was born and she is such a baby still. I think back to the girl I used to be and I see a scared young girl in need of a little compassion, guidance, and forgiveness.

I think sometimes we dismiss people who are hurting when we feel like they brought it on themselves. We pick and chose who is deserving of mercy and compassion and when we do we are playing god. Loving someone who is hurting because of their poor choice doesn’t mean you agree with or support their transgression.  Indifference and humiliation further breaks the person. We serve a God of healing and mercy and sometimes that healing and mercy comes from you.

Today, I rejoice and thank God for the miracle who sleeps down the hall. I thank God for giving that 17 year old girl such love and compassion for that tiny baby, and I thank God for His compassion and mercy on me, and for being the God of second chances.

*Photo is of the first time I got to hold my daughter*

~Be Blessed and be a Blessing~
Rebecca

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