Posts have been few and far between lately! Sorry to all of my followers, but hopefully this post will explain why…
Life here in the Francis household has been insane, to say the least. We recently undertook an over 900 square feet addition to our home and it has been insanely busy and taxing. My husband used to be in construction, so thankfully, he knows how to build anything! He is doing most of the work himself, so it has been work all day-everyday! 7 am to dark.
Despite the daily rigor of construction (which encompasses dust, dirt and debris on EVERYTHING…everywhere), homeschooling, worship ministry, cooking, cleaning and raising 4 kids…you can say that I am trying to stay sane!
I am officially the “grunt worker” between the two of us. Because I don’t have the skills or knowledge that my husband does, I opt to paint, pick up construction trash and debris, run lumber orders, do whatever miscellaneous projects needed to support the real stuff…and I am the official Francis “gopher”.
Needless to say, I have truly become a hands-on housewife.
Our Insanely HUGE project-In pictures…
Here are some pictures of before and afters of the projects that we have started this summer…
We started with painting the front of the house while we waited for finally plan approval by the county.
Modern farmhouse for the win!!!
Once we received approval of plans, we started with the foundation.
It was quite disconcerting when the rains hit, but God allowed it to clear on the days we needed it to be clear for building!
Needless to say…We have had a LOT on our plates. We continue to advance every spare moment we have, and are hoping to be all boxed in and framed by the end of October!
I will especially love picking out the colors, flooring and accessories! P.s. Joanna Gaines is my “spirit animal” ;).
My previous post was about the seasons of life. There are many different seasons in life, and I just happen to be in the busy-dirty-construction chaos season. And that’s alright! I believe that there is a lesson to be learned in every season. God has been showing us so much in this season.
The love that has been poured out on us by family and friends has been humbling, to say the least! We have had so many people coming to help us out of the love of their hearts. Just to serve and show that they care! We literally could not have made it this far without all of their help and support!
Because of the love and support poured out on us, we have discussed the humbling realization that we NEED help. That it’s OK to ask and accept the help given. We are humbled and extremely blessed.
So this season of our life is crazy. It really is. But, I have learned so much and wouldn’t trade the hardships and trails for anything! I will keep y’all updated with our progress!
Have you ever had a time in your life where you feel like you cannot seem to keep your head above water? Where the perpetual waves of chaos are beating you down, as you are constantly trying to raise to the surface for air, only to have the waves come crashing down on you over and over again?
That has been the feeling I have had for almost a year now.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is ALL just a season.
I don’t mean SUMMER, FALL, WINTER or SPRING.
A season is a section in time of your life timeline. The different sections can help you to see the big picture of growth in your life. We all have them.
Seasons can be good, bad, ugly or downright beautiful.
I believe that all seasons are beautiful in a way. The best part about seasons are, they will pass.
I believe in my heart of hearts that this crazy and chaotic season in my life is for good. But, sometimes it is hard to see the good in anything when you are overwhelmed and constantly waiting for that “wave” to hit you again.
Between being a mom to 4 energetic kids, homeschooling, starting a large addition on our home with my husband (yes, we are doing it all ourselves), leading the worship ministry at my church and other stressful things happening on a personal level…I’d say that I am a little overwhelmed.
The world tells you to “be strong!”, to “take it like a man!”. But, Jesus tells you differently. He says, “cast all your cares on me”, and “be anxious for nothing.”
Sometimes it’s easier said than done though. You see, I grew up in the church. I grew up knowing all the “christianese” sayings and quips. But when you are “knee-deep” in the trenches of a hard season…sometimes you forget these truths. Sometimes you do try to “be strong” and take things head on.
Problem and Solution
I am a pretty “black and white” person. I believe that for every problem, there is a simple solution. My brain just automatically goes there whenever I am faced with a problem or hard decision. It’s almost a bad thing, because I have realized that not all people operate that way. Many people don’t, actually. Even in hard times, I have become accustomed to just saying, “this issue or problem is easily solved, just do this…”.
Let me just tell ya’ll…that does not always work. A lot of the times. Especially with heart issues. People issues.
I laugh as I write this, because I have just recently run into this issue. I realize that human issues are so much more complicated. So much more “messy”. It sometimes frustrates me because I don’t like the emotional side of things. I don’t like “messy”. Why can’t it just be simple? A problem, that therefore needs a solution. Right?
In this season of my life, I have found that out very obviously. There is sometimes NO solution. No fast and easy way to resolve an issue.
But I believe that each issue that arises in your different seasons of life allow for learning and growth.
I have learned a lot through this hard season. The chaos can be disconcerting, but the chaos is meant to bring you closer to Jesus. closer to His heart.
I want to share what I have been learning this year. The journey that I have been on in this season…
Homeschool: Each child is different. Each child needs different and sometimes opposite styles of teaching. Learning to be patient is the HARDEST part of homeschool.
Ministry: Each individual involved has a very different personality, and requires different ways of communicating or resolving conflict.
Marriage: For each season, there are different stresses on your relationship with your husband. Each issue that comes up needs to be handled a little differently. Making time to be together is essential.
Home renovation: Literally, everything that can go wrong-WILL. There will always be extra money needed.
Family relationships: The enemy (the devil) wants to destroy it. Any way he can. Learning to be vigilant that proactive is a must.
Personal growth: Finding time to be in the Word and to be alone and silent is a MUST. As a busy mom, it is essential to make time alone a priority.
Hobbies: Some seasons require you to “put away” your dreams. Just for a little while ;).
Relationships: You can not put exceptions on people. They will always fail your expectations.
Hard things: Wether it is hard work, hard people or hard times…they WILL make you be a better person. Don’t avoid it. Just do it.
Worship: Sometimes worship through music is the only thing you can speak. That’s ok.
Responsibilities: Saying no is good.
Asking for help: Is good.
So you see, in this chaotic and crazy season of life, I am STILL learning. Actually, I am learning exponentially more than I would have in an easy season of life! It’s not always easy, but it is worth it…IF you allow God to teach you.
I am learning to embrace the journey. To run TO the hard parts.
I know I have so much more to learn, and I know there are even more hard things to come. Life is funny like that.
Embrace the Journey
Wether you are going through a hard season, an easy season, or if you are having a brand new season of adventures that is scary and unknown…embrace it. look for the lessons. Look for the learning. Don’t be doubtful. Trust God that He is letting you go through that season for your own growth.
I pray that you are encouraged to know that you are not alone. You are not the only one having a hard season. I am right there with you! But, it’s good. It’s growing. It may be hard, but it’s only a season. It will pass.
Here are some verses for you:
If you are anxious:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7
If you are stressed:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
If you are in conflict with family or friends:
“A new command I give you: Loveoneanother. As I have loved you, so you must loveoneanother.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you loveoneanother.” John 13:34-35
If you are needing encouragement:
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:14-19
If you are struggling spiritually:
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[fn] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Eph. 6:10-13
If you are entering a new season or journey:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-7
I started a low carb/no carb stint of two weeks today and as I was making my shopping list and weekly menu, I got a hankering to make something with green peppers. As I was thinking about what I could make with green bell peppers, I looked over on my stove and there was one of my homegrown (we slaughter our own cows) ground beef tubes on the stove-thawing out.
Yes! Stuffed peppers with ground peppers, mushrooms and zucchini! Not to mention the oh-so-gooey cheese!!!
These babies are so easy to make! I just whipped up all the stuffing in a big pan, sliced up the peppers and laid them out in the pan, put lots of cheese below and on top, and then stuck them in the oven! Then viola! –a yummy and easy low carb dinner!
I love easy and yummy. Sometimes that is a hard combo to get, but when you find a recipe that works for you and your family AND is easy to make…KEEP IT!
I called this dish “stuffy-stuffed” because I load my peppers up with meat mixture and cheese! My favorite kind of “stuffy”!
First, you start with your meat. I added about 2-3 TBS of butter to cook the meat in (because my beef is so lean). It also makes for a richer taste overall.
Then you add your mushrooms, zucchini and spices.
Saute together and mix up those spices really good!
Next, place all of the halved bell peppers in a greased pan (I used Pam), and then add one slice of provolone to each bell pepper half. Then Place the meat on top of the cheese.
Next, you’re gonna want to cheese the crap (pardon my French) out of them!!! Just load those suckers with that beautiful mozzarella!
Finally, stick those babies in the oven!
Simple is my kind of cookin’!
I really do prefer simple meals when it comes to my weekly dinner menu. With 4 kids and a hungry husband, it is very reassuring to know that there are simple meals that can be prepared very simply, yet having health benefits too. Simple is my kind of cookin’!
I served this dish with Trim Healthy Mama’s Trim Noodles. They are basically a noodle made from Konjac. They are super low carb and have a very similar texture to real spaghetti noodles (you can buy them here http://www.trimhealthymama.com). I made my noodles with pizza sauce (way less less sugar than pasta sauce), and it was the perfect side for a stuffed pepper! Kind of felt like I was eating a cheat meal! 🙂
Anyways, there are many sides you could easily put with this dish for a healthy low-carb meal. Salads, sauteed veggies, konjac noodles, low carb noodles etc. The possibilities are endless!
I served my kids this dish with veggie noodles and pizza sauce, and they loved it!
So if you have extra bell peppers and some ground beef (or turkey), this simple and easy dish is sure to please! My kids and husband loved it!
2-3 lbs of ground beef (ours is grass fed and very lean)
Sliced provolone cheese
3 cups diced mushrooms
1 Large zucchini
3 tbs butter
1 tsp thyme
1-2 tsp pepper
2 tbs salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease large baking dish(9x13)- I used butter or Pam Butter spray.
In large sauce pan, melt butter and add ground beef.
Cook ground beef until brown, add salt and pepper to season.
When meat is almost done cooking, add in diced mushrooms and zucchini.
Cook until softened.
Cut Bell peppers in half (de-seeded) and place in greased baking pan.
Place one slice of provolone cheese into each bell pepper half.
Once meat mixture is done, add about 1/2 cup mixture into bell peppers.
Top with Mozzarella cheese, a little more salt and pepper.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Enjoy hot, and serve with side dish of choice, or enjoy alone!
NOTE: I had extra meat mixture. I added the leftover meat mixture to my baking pan and topped with cheese, and then I just baked it along with the belle peppers. It is great for adding to omelets for the next morning, or enjoying as a Low carb snack or meal :).
I recently had bought a bunch of bananas because they were on sale. However, because of our home addition that we started last week (long story), the house has been “opened up” quite a bit…which has caused the house to be very warm during the days. Thus, turning all my newly bought bananas brown!
So, I was debating on what to make, when my husband came into the kitchen and suggested that I make a banana pie with chocolate crust. Thus started my brain wheels spinning!
I looked through my cupboards and gathered together what might taste good in a banana pie, and because I only had a couple of hours until my nephews party started, I needed to come up with something fast!
My brother in law requested for me to bring some sugar-free desserts, so I decided to make this and my other popular recipe: Z’s Double Strawberry Cheesecake.
So I made both of these bad boys, and brought them over! Needless to say, they were a hit! Everyone loved them both…but my husband said that his new favorite was the Banana Creme Pie!
Bananas for the win!
I am usually not a fan of banana anything, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed this pie! This pie was definitely win, win!
My favorite part was the chocolate crust!!! The crust was to die for! So chocolatey and perfectly thick!
Also, topping it with Lily’s dark chocolate chips was a perfect finish! (here’s a link where you can buy them…)
What I am not a big fan of though, is using products that are processed. I just have to say, straight up…I did use a box of Jello sugar-free vanilla pudding mix in this recipe! I know! BAD GIRL!
I am sure there are ways you can tweak it to not have that processed stuff in it, but because of my lack for time and no opportunity to go to the store for special ingredients, this is what I used.
I usually like to stick to healthier choices. But,I think it’s ok to indulge every once in a while! EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE GUYS!
After all, it’s always better to choose things foods that won’t spike your blood sugar…even if occasionally it is processed or contains Sucralose.
Note: Eating foods containing Sucralose on a daily basis can have major health detriments. I would not suggest eating it very often.
Again…this bad boy was made in my Vitamix Blender!!! So stinkin’ easy! I have been spoiled rotten with that machine, and frankly, I am in love with the ease that it allows for making pretty much anything! If anyone wants to buy one…check out my main page on the sidebar! (I’ll get a small commission if you buy from my site:).
This pie was a hit, and I know that it will grace our tables many times to come!!!
I hope that you will enjoy this pie as much as my family and I have!
I may or may not be a strawberry dessert obsessed person! Especially in the summer time! Strawberries are just so easy to make sweet and delicious desserts with. Not only are they easy to make yummy treats with, but they are beautiful!
This dessert was another one of my “accidental” creations. I needed something to use my cream cheese in and something that I could use all my strawberries in. Alas! This delicious and easy masterpiece was created!
It’s called “double strawberry” because, instead of just having strawberries on top, there are strawberries inside! Lot’s of them! So…you get double the strawberries! Yes please!
I made this cheesecake twice now, and both times, it was literally devoured before I could take any pretty pictures. So, this is officially my first recipe post that doesn’t have pretty pictures of all angles and with pretty lighting. Just the two hastily taken pictures before the cake was destroyed by my husband and kids.
Needless to say, this cheesecake was a hit!
Nothing fancy, no pretty lighting…just raw and unfiltered cheesecake, in all of it’s glory! See, we all have messy kitchens and bad lighting! That’s ok! Just be happy to make delicious and healthy treats! That’s what I do.
11 Year Celebration
Two weeks ago was my husbands and my 11 year anniversary! Yay us! I made this cheesecake for the first time on that weekend, and my husband fell in love with it. He especially loved the tiny hint of cinnamon in the crust!
As he stuffed his happy face with the delicious cake, he nodded his approval and mumbled with his mouth full. Once he was done chewing (barely), I asked what he said. He told me, “I think this is your best one so far!”
He really loved it. Almost as much as I love him. 11 years with this stud is a blessing, and I pray that I get many more! He is my rock, and I could not do life without him!
The Myth, the Recipe…
Back to this little cheesecake recipe. Once more, it was made in my Vitamix Blender! I mean seriously, can it get any more easy to make delicious and decadent desserts??? I think not!
I actually made this before church on Sunday! I baked the crust first, and then added the creamy and delicious filling from my Vitamix, and then put in the freezer! That’s it! Easy Peasy!
Of course, later, I sliced up strawberries and added a little bit of sweetener and then added it to the top! Viola!
It’s really not a myth that you can make healthy, easy and super quick desserts! It’s the real deal, and it’s my jam!
I hope you enjoy this super simple dessert!
Yields 8 large pieces
Z’s Double Strawberry Cheesecake
Sugar-Free, THM-S, Keto. A quick and easy delicious summer dessert!
The summer time is a perfect time for frozen treats! And what better treat than a sweet strawberry dessert? This dessert cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT get any easier! It literally takes about 2 minutes to whip together!
Thank the kitchen gods for high powered blenders! They make whipping up desserts a breeze!
There is just something about frozen strawberries that has that ability to just melt in your mouth and bring about feelings of pure bliss! At least for me anyway…lol.
Most Gelato recipes for me have turned out chunky. All the other recipes I have tried, just cannot compare to the creamy and irresistible consistency of this recipe!
The Secret Ingredient
Have you ever tried to make a frozen dessert in your blender, only to get a chunky and dissapointing consistency? Or, when you put it in the freezer and then go to take a bite the next day, it is literally frozen solid? Well, I have had that experience, and I have to tell ya…It aint fun! I get so frustrated, that I usually have to throw it away!
This bad boy has a secret ingredient that I think you will be surprised about.
Yup…VODKA! Don’t worry though…it is not enough to even get a buzz on. There is only a minimal amount. But, the effect that the vodka has on the consistency is heavenly! And I dare say, I like the flavor better when the vodka is part of the mix!
I use raspberry Vodka, but you can use any flavor you want. I like the raspberry because it gives the strawberry flavor a bit of a twist.
Note for Trim Healthy Mama’s: Because this has the vodka in it, I am not entirely sure what this dessert would technically land on in a Trim Healthy Mama category. I would say that if you use a nut milk, that it could be a Fuel Pull (FP), but if you use the half and half, then it would definitely fall in to the Satisfying (S) category. I will have to check into it and see what it technically on THM.
Go make It!
Because this is so dang easy… it is perfect for those last minute desserts that you need to make in a pinch. Maybe your in-laws dropped by un-announced and you need something quick and easy. Whip out the good stuff! It will be sure to please!
If you have an uncontrollable urge for a frozen strawberry treat with a twist… This recipe is perfect! It is also so much better than binge eating a pint of ice-cream, that you will FOR SURE regret later! Go with this healthy and deliciously creamy alternative!
Now that your mouth is watering…Go make it!
Z’s Strawberry Gelato
Sugar-Free, THM, Keto. A delicious and simple frozen treat!
This cheesecake is divine! So refreshing and yummy, like a summer afternoon drink of lemonade! to be honest, I am not much of a lemon fan. I usually pass up lemony desserts. I actually made this for my husband because I had a bunch of extra lemons.
You see, I had done the Master Cleanse, and ended up stopping a day early. So needless to say, I had a ton of extra lemons to use up. I hate to waste food, so I ended up thinking, “I should make something for my husband!”. This is the recipe that came to mind!
I have to admit that I really didn’t think I would like it, but I tried it always. Boy am I glad I did! It seriously is one of the most refreshing desserts I have ever had!
It is delicious!!!
I am so glad that I tried it! I am learning that you always have to at least try things! You may have written foods off when you were younger, like I have, but you never know if your taste buds have changed! Mine have for sure!
Easy as Pie!
This recipe cannot get any easier! I made it in my Vitamix! I seriously cannot say enough about how easy it is to make things when you have a good blender!
I just added the whipping cream and whipped it up (seriously in a matter of 5 seconds!), and then added my cream cheese, sweetners and vanilla’s to it, and blended! It seriously only took a minute!
I say “vanilla’s” because I added in a “secret ingredient”, that in my opinion, made this amazing!
Any of ya’ll ever heard of the Vanilla Creme stevia drops? If you haven’t used this before, it will change your world! Such a creamy vanilla taste, with none of the aftertaste that I have come to hate about stevia! I even love to add a couple drops to my coffee in the mornings!
You can buy them here (click link above). If you click the link above, I will get a tiny commission. Thanks!
This is a little slice of heaven right here!
I originally wanted to make a pie, but it turned out so simple, creamy and delicious that I felt it would be wrong to try to make it anything but this yummy and refreshing cheesecake! Maybe one of these days I will make this cheesecake into a pie too! We’ll see. 😉
This was such an easy cheesecake to make! If you ever want a pretty and decadent dessert that makes you look like a genius dessert maker, but takes all of 20 minutes total to make…this here is your ticket!
You can even dress it up with some whipped cream, more lemon slices or just eat it plain! It’s so easy…why not?!?!?
Hope y’all enjoy it as much as my family and I did!
Z’s Lemon Cream Cheesecake
Sugar-Free, THM-S, Keto.
A super easy decadent dessert! Refreshing and delicious!
This recipe is one of my dad’s favorite desserts! My grandma Josie used to make it for him all the time! Even when my dad left home to go into the Navy back in the early 60’s, he would come home to visit and she would whip up a pot of it for him!
You might be thinking, “what the heck is Panocha?”. That is a perfectly normal reaction when people hear about this dish. Heck, when I first heard about it being my dad’s favorite, I said the same thing!
Panocha is a traditional Native American dish that came from my ancestors centuries ago. Panocha, in New Mexico and southern Colorado, is a pudding made from ground sprouted wheat and piloncillo (sugar). It is traditionally eaten during Lent. The sprouted-wheat flour is called “panocha flour” or simply “panocha”, as well.
My Grandma passed this recipe down to my aunts, and now it has been passed down to me!
Although I usually try to bake and cook in a healthy and mostly THM (trim healthy mama) way, there are just some recipes (especially traditional family recipes) that just shouldn’t be changed! This is one of them.
(Don’t get me wrong, I will probably try to THMify this eventually, just so I can eat it all the time! It’s that good!).
Traditionally, this recipe is more of a pudding consistency, but ours came out a little thick…which I actually liked. My Aunt Naomi taught me how to make this last week, and it was so much fun seeing the process. It is a little time consuming, but it is so cool to be able to make something that my ancestors from centuries ago actually made all the time. There is just something cool about thinking of how Native Americans from so long ago used to go about making this, without modern kitchen tools.
First, you need to get a large bowl and sift the flour. We used a mix of whole wheat flour and sprouted whole wheat flour. If you go to a Mexican market, they will probably have panocha flour (which is basically just sprouted whole wheat flour).
Sift the two flours together.
Boil a kettle full of water (about 4 1/2 cups).
Meanwhile, brown the sugar (we used regular dark brown sugar and white sugar) in a large pan. It’s a delicate process because you don’t want to burn it. Make sure to keep mixing! The “browning” of the sugar gives it that unique taste.
Be sure to continue mixing the sugars until it caramelizes. Add some of the boiling water (about 2 cups) to the sugar mix and turn down heat to low. Cover and let sit on low for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the rest of the boiling water (about 2 1/2 cups) to the flour mix. Stir until well dissolved. Add the flour mix to the sugar mix and stir until well mixed. Add the butter and mix until fully melted.
After everything is mixed together well, our mixture into buttered baking dish (that has a lid). Place in oven and bake 300 degrees for about 3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or milk.
Note: Contemporary additions to panocha include a teaspoon or so of cinnamon and or vanilla. A tablespoon or two of butter gives extra richness. Any of these additions should be made at the conclusion of the panocha’s cooking time on the stove, just prior to baking.
This dessert/breakfast is so rich in history and is chock full of flavor! I love the creaminess of this dish, and my kids especially loved eating it. It is a hearty and delicious dessert/breakfast; perfect for growing kids!
I hope that when I make this dish, my grandma Josie will be looking down from heaven smiling at me.
Love you Grandma Josie!
Yields 15-20 servings
Grandma Josie’s Panocha
A rich and decadent dessert or breakfast! A traditional Native American dish.
Aggressive secularism, radical islam, and the fight for our future.
A book review, by Zaneta Francis.
This book has been an eye opener and a reality check for me personally. So often, I get into the “daily grind” of life, and stick my “head in the sand” when it comes to knowing what is going on in our world. It is easy to become complacent. It is easy to say to yourself, “I just don’t want to watch the news because it is too depressing”.
Although I am inclined to agree with that thought process, and occasionally catch myself thinking that way, I do believe that as christians it is our duty to stay informed and speak Truth. There is too much going on in our world right now that goes extremely against the Word of God. There is so much “wrong” being declared “right.” It is time for us to stand for Truth. To stand for what is right.
In this book, Micheal talks about how fundamental secularism and radical Islam is infiltrating our society. How it has been “rearing it’s ugly head” lately, but in fact has been in the background for decades. Only current events have made this issue stand out.
“[Secular fundamentalists]…They are so utterly convinced of the rightness of their rationalism and atheism that they cannot tolerate religion in any form and cannot allow religious parents to teach their faith to their children. They ridicule, mock and satirize the idea of God, and they have no empathy whatsoever for the people they have scorned and persecuted. They feel justified and self-righteous.”
Secular Fundamentalist, unfortunately, are the ones being voted into office and are having influence over the laws being passed, the tone being set and the overall morality of our culture. This is the reality that is our culture. This is the reality of our government (in a lot of cases).
The Great American Delusion
“If the founding fathers could visit America today, they wouldn’t recognize the nation they established. Where is the industrious, liberty-loving nation for which they risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor? It has largely become a place where antisocial behavior is rewarded, where industriousness is penalized, and where our First Amendment freedoms are giving way to political correctness.”
This was my favorite paragraph of the whole book!
The issues that plague our tv screens and social media are a disgrace to our founding fathers! Same-sex marriage, LGBT “rights”, political correctness, and the like are not only moral issues, but are the core of so many idealogical and moral declinations. Our nation was founded on the fear of God. It was founded with the vision of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. Where is the life, liberty and happiness? Where is the fear of God?
I don’t want to give too much of this book away, so I will let you read it! It really is a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Micheal Youssef has a way of bringing up current events and exposing Truth, while keeping an encouraging tone throughout the book. He is a gifted author and a well researched journalist.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the current state of our culture, government and events. Micheal encourages christians to stay informed, to get involved and to stand for Truth. He also encourages us to pray for our world.
I hope you get a chance to buy this book and read it! Here is a link to buy it. If you buy it from here, I get a tiny commission :). Thanks!
I am beyond proud to add this page of authentic and traditional family recipes to my blog! These recipes and stories have been passed down from my grandma Josie!
Grandma Josie’s Kitchen will be a place where amazing and delicious recipes, stories of my ancestors, dishes of all sorts and wonderful pictures will shared! My grandma’s recipes will be forever memorialized here!
Josephine Gurule-Vasquez was born in the year 1919, in the tiny little town of Mogote Colorado. She was the youngest of 5 siblings. She graduated high school when she was 18, in 1937. She went to work for a resort in southern Colorado called MenkHaven, where she started off with sewing clothe diapers for the resort guests. She was so good at what she did, that they promoted her twice. Once as a layette sewer, and then on to a cook in the kitchen. This is where she began her love for cooking, and learned a lot of the cooking skills that used her whole life.
She met and fell in love with Daniel Vasquez (my grandpa) in 1942, and was married shortly after in the same year. They lived on a ranch in the back hills of Pass Creek, near Redwing Colorado. They raised their 6 kids there for over 20 years. (I was able to visit this ranch of theirs on several occasions and it was so awesome to actually see where some of my family history took place).
Josephine and Daniel had their first son, Dan Jr. in 1943. Samuel (my Dad) was born in 1944. My aunt Mary was born in 1946. My Aunt Becky was born in 1950. Then there was my Uncle Jake, who was born in 1954.
My grandma Josie also had baby Rebecca in between my aunt Mary and my aunt Becky, but she died at only a few days old. I have had the amazing privilege to see baby Rebecca’s grave site when I was younger, on a day trip we took to explore where my dad grew up. She was laid to rest in a beautiful place in the back hills of southern Colorado, near their family ranch. It was a special thing to me, to be able to see my dads baby sister’s grave site and to pay respect to my little aunt who I was never able to meet.
Finally, my aunt Naomi was born in 1959. The last of 6 children.
I have so many good memories of all my aunts and uncles. I love that I am able to remember them and share memories with my dad and family about how they have impacted me.
My aunt Naomi has been a huge influence in my life. Her natural talent for pretty much anything that she does is inspiring. She has taught me a lot about cooking, baking, painting, arts and crafts, crocheting and so much more!
Her ability to just listen and dream with me is one of my favorite things about her. She is so non-judgmental of my flaws and always challenges me to be better at everything I do. She is also one of my biggest fans and has encouraged me so much in all of my random ventures.
Whenever we get together, we always end up cooking, baking, swapping recipes, antique shopping, drinking coffee together early in the morning and sharing stories about life, love and everything in between. I can truly say that we are kindred spirits and I am so thankful for her role in my life.
A lot of the recipes that I will post in Grandma Josie’s Kitchen page will be recipes that my aunt Naomi has taught me. Grandma’s legacy lives on through her, and hopefully I will do these recipes justice as I learn them and master them myself.
My Grandma Josie was the most giving and self-less lady I have ever met. Her meek personality and feisty spirit is one that will never be duplicated. She loved her kids with a fierce love, and she doted on all of her 21 grandkids. Her great grandkids are so numerous, it would take me all day to research!
She loved to cook for people. She had this nac for cooking for a large group of people with little to no notice, and the meals being absolutely delicious! She loved having her family around, and always had a way of bringing her family together. One of the ways she did this was by cooking her delicious meals for everyone.
These recipes that I will share here has been passed down from my Native American, New Mexican and Colorado born ancestors. They have been passed down to my grandma Josie, down to my Aunt Naomi, and now to me. I am so excited to forever memorialize my grandma Josie’s recipes!
Grandma’s ability to whip things up has been an inspiration to me as well! I want to be that kind of woman who is able to that! I strive to always feed people when they come to my house, and I always want people to leave my home filled with yummy food and happiness!
I always remember my grandma cooking in the kitchen. She loved to gather everyone around the table, and see everyone happy. Some of my best childhood memories were in her kitchen.
One of the most memorable memories that I have of her kitchen was when she would feed us grandkids corn flakes in the mornings. She would load up the bowl with about 1/4 cup of sugar, and top it off with evaporated milk! I swear, to this day I can not eat corn flakes without thinking about my grandma and all the sugar she would give me as a child. Lol.
I always remember my grandparent’s house being the place that we would all gather. It was a tiny house, but somehow that didn’t matter. The love and acceptance that was there made it homey and comfortable, and everyone loved being there. Even if we were packed like sardines!
That is yet another thing I always want my home to be like! Welcoming, cozy and always, always, always food on the table!
I am so excited to be able to share some of my grandma Josie’s recipes with you! I will also be sharing traditional and authentic Native American dishes that are still popular in New Mexico and Colorado today.
From Traditional Sweet Meat Empenadas, Pressure Cooker Beans (a recipe that was passed down from my Mom who learned it from grandma Josie), Sopaipillas, Tortillas, Green Chili Sauce, to Panocha (a sweet porridge), these recipes will inspire!
As I write this, I can almost feel the authentic richness of these dishes coming alive!
My grandma Josie was a special lady. She effected so many with her love, acceptance and cooking! I look forward to seeing her in heaven some day and sitting on the porch of heaven, talking about life, love and food! I love you grandma Josie!
I hope you enjoy these recipes from my Grandma Josie’s Kitchen and beyond!