Recipes · writing

Yes, there’s peanut butter in this soup.

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Supper’s on the table. 

Once this was a feature in my newsletter, and while I’ll still drop some special recipes to subscribers only, as part of the blog resurrection, I’m letting you into my kitchen.

Seriously, if I could have everyone over for soup and bread I would.

January tried to be winter, and really, it was pretty successful. So I made some homemade bread, wrote an ode to my Crockpot, and stirred lots of hearty soup for those chilly days.

Now it’s like springtime. But it’s really only February so pretty sure I still need to keep all the soup recipes out.

My award for “Favorite Soup with a Say What? Ingredient” is definitely Peanut-Butter Vegetable. Don’t scoff. It’s delicious. I promise.

I used my Instant Pot to make this (note I haven’t written an ode to it yet, we’re still not great friends). But it’s easy for soups. Use the sautee function, then add the rest, and set it for a short pressure cook. That timing thing I still haven’t figured out, but this soup turned out well!

Peanut-Butter Vegetable Soup (adapted from Thy Hand Hath Provided)

2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
3 cups chicken stock
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups zucchini and/or yellow squash, chopped
1 can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter

Sautee carrots, onion, garlic in butter. Stir in broth, sweet potatoes, zucchini, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes and peanut butter and heat through.

Now send me your favorite soup recipe? You can hit reply or find me on Insta or Facebook. Pictures will definitely get shared!

In the meantime, read much and eat well. (If you want to know what’s currently saving my wintry life, I’ve got a list right here.)

P.S. Another reason to make soup. You can read a book while it’s simmering away. Or fold the laundry. You know, whatever makes you happy.

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reflections · writing

What’s Saving My Life :: Winter 2019

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People told me this would happen as I approach 40 (2019 is my last year in my thirties). They told me I would begin to realize so much better who I am, who I want to be, and who I’ve let the world make me.

I’m not sure I’m so happy with the last one. I’m a people pleaser and I overanalyze every one and every response–which actually is an incredibly unhealthy way to live. I may have a gift of empathy–and it may make me a better writer–but the junk of others doesn’t have to determine ME.

So this year is an experiment of sorts. A last year in my thirties and a time of personal reflection. I’ll drop some of those thoughts here, in this blog I’ve neglected since my debut novel released. Some will go to my insiders–those people who subscribe to my newsletter and let me tell them some things in their inboxes. Some will trickle into my Instagram and Facebook feeds, and I’d love to hear from you.

What’s saving your life–right now in the middle of winter and one month into a new year?

My list is simple and I’m linking up with my favorite Modern Mrs. Darcy who takes this practice cue from fellow writer Barbara Brown Taylor (who incidentally lives near me but I’ve never seen her at the grocery store).

What’s Saving My Life …

  1. Hiking My mama is an avid hiker and sometimes I tag along. Even when it’s cold, but only because she promises me baked goods and coffee when I’m done.
  2. Yoga For the first time since my wreck, my back doesn’t hurt. I’m no expert, but I like the Quick Yoga workouts I find on Amazon Prime. Doesn’t hurt the instructor’s name is Lindsay.
  3. Hot tea I’m partial to anything citrus flavored, especially a lemon-ginger at night because lately, my tummy needs some settling on a way too regular basis.
  4. My Bullet Journal I write everything in this little book. And I use these pretty pens. What I love about the BuJo is there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Setting it up can be overwhelming if you do all. the. research. Or you can be lazy like me and avoid all they hype and use what works for you. I do make a weekly spread and I try to keep up with my table of contents so I can find everything quickly. I also color code my months, which helps. For me the best thing is that everything I need is in one place.
  5. Internet hangout sessions While I’m making the effort to hang out with my IRL friends who can meet for coffee, I’m incredibly grateful for the hangout sessions I have via the Internet with my writer friends. These are the people who don’t let me add in plot twists just because, who call me out when I use way too many adjectives, and who help me keep this publishing journey in perspective. We live in 3 different states, so being able to “see” each other is wonderful.
  6. Fuzzy blankets Polar vortex came through. Enough said.
  7. Burning the gas fireplace without the logs. Our logs apparently weren’t suited for our fireplace and caused a soot problem. So take them out suggested the lady at the propane company. Guess what? Gas fireplaces don’t necessarily need logs to work. They’re aesthetic not necessity.
  8. Soup Next week I’ll offer up one of my favorite weird soup recipes, but I believe soup is a winter staple.
  9. Bible reading plan I’ve never read the Bible all the way through. Beginning to End. So my husband and I are doing it together. Right now we’re having interesting convos centered around Leviticus. Who knew there were SO. MANY. RULES? Hallelujah, grace. (Our plan is simple and listed in the back of our NIV devotional Bibles, but I’m reading my NKJV study version.)
  10. Book Tracking Y’all know I like to read, but I’m terrible at follow through. My Goodreads is only updated sporadically and it syncs to my Kindle app and thinks I’m reading things I’m really not because I hate to read on my phone. So this year I’m going to try tracking them by month in my bullet journal. So far I’ve read five books this year. I talk about them a lot on Instagram.

Your turn! You can find me on the socials or leave a comment or a send an email or ignore this and go back to work 🙂

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