Friday, February 26, 2016

Surrounded by Light. . .

I am so happy that Spring is close!  The days are getting longer, the sun seems to be shinning a little brighter, and the earth is warming up.  The sun feels so good shinning on my skin, and it's warmth fills my soul with nothing but goodness. I love being surrounded by light, and I'm not just talking about sunshine.  I'm talking about the kind of light that comes into ones life if they surround themselves with good people, kindness, laughter, acceptance, tolerance, clear thinking, etc.  We hear so much negativity through the media, social media, and sometimes just talking about our own problems too much.  I am so grateful that I am surrounded by so much light in my life.  I know its impossible to shine bright 100% of the time, but it is possible to try.

Have a great weekend friends!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

In the Kitchen: The Easiest & Best Fresh Salsa Ever!

Several years ago I was visiting a friend in Arizona and she made the most delicious fresh salsa I've ever had! We've since lost touch, but she was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and today I'm going to share it with you.

Red Salsa:

  • 1 can (28oz) whole tomatoes in juice.
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro.
  • 1/2 can Jalapenos. (half of the small cans.  If you like especially spicing salsa throw in the whole can.)
  • 2 cloves garlic. (I usually just put in one clove.)
  • 1/2 C. chopped red onion.
  • garlic salt or just kosher salt (to taste).
  • Fresh lime juice (to taste).
Pour juice from tomatoes into a food processor or blender.  Add chopped cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeno and process to chopped/minced.  Add tomatoes, garlic salt or salt, and fresh lime juice.  Puree to desired thickness. 


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Captured but Free

I know people who are captured but free.
These people live lives of discomfort but no one sees.
They try to be happy but inside are torn down.
They wear a smile on their face but their soul wears a frown.
Will they endure until they are free?

I know people who are captured but free.
They get lost in their thoughts.
They feel comfort in solitude.
They need to be surrounded.
Will they endure until they are free?

I know people who are captured but free.
They carry the weight of regret.
They plead for release every day.
They find peace in words.
Will they endure until they are free?

Jill Adams 6/24/2010

Friday, January 8, 2016


2016 is going to be a wonderful year!  It's the first time in my life I can actually anticipate how my life is going to go, and if something comes up unexpected and possibly challenging to deal with, I know I'll be okay.  I have the most amazing partner to go through life with, and I'm pretty amazing myself so I've got this.

Rather than New Year Resolutions I usually begin a new year with a word I want to focus on.  Last year my word was transformation, and I can honestly say that it was quite the transforming year for me.  This year I just want to be present in my life.  I'm kind of done with planning and dreaming about the future.  It's time to enjoy life just as it is and I am so grateful that I am at this place in my life.

For fun, I'm going to post a daily photo on Instagram with #presentwithagratefulheart of something I noticed that day and what I'm grateful for.  Follow along HERE!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In the Kitchen at Eidolon: Fettuccine Alfredo

I have tried many many different recipes for Alfredo sauce and I've come to accept that when it comes to Alfredo, you have to "go real" or just don't make it.  When I say "real" I mean use butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese.  "Skinny" Alfredo recipes just don't hold a candle to the real stuff; they also don't reheat very well.  I had zero issues reheating this white sauce for leftovers the next day.
(Tip for reheating:  Heat on the stove (never the microwave) on medium heat, add a bit of cream or milk, and whisk away until the sauce is warm and ready to serve again.  Patience is key; if the heat it too high the butter will separate from the cream mixture).


1/2 stick of butter.
1 cup heavy cream.
1 cup of whole milk.
4 oz of cream cheese (room temperature).
1 clove garlic (minced).
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
pinch of kosher salt.
three or four twists of your black pepper grinder.
palm full of dried parsley flakes. (optional)

Over medium heat melt butter with heavy cream in a sauce pan or large skillet.  Next add whole milk (pour milk in slowly while whisking the mixture together in the pan).  Next, cut the cream cheese into squares and drop them into the pan (cutting the cream cheese into blocks allows it to melt and blend faster).  Next add the minced clove of garlic and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir often until all is melted and blended together, then add salt and pepper.  If you're not ready to serve the meal just yet, turn the heat to low and cover to keep warm.  Just before serving throw in the parsley flakes, mix well, and serve hot over fettuccine noodles. YUM!

Here is the recipe we used for breadsticks.


Monday, December 21, 2015

In the Kitchen at Eidolon: Soft Sugar Cookies

The most delicious soft sugar cookies you'll ever bake!

2 Cups Sugar.
1 Cup Butter (softened or room temperature).
1 Cup Sour Cream.
3 Eggs.
1 tsp. baking soda.
1 tsp. salt.
1 tsp. Vanilla extract.
1/4 tsp. Almond extract. (optional, but worth it if you have it.)
6 Cups Flour.

Cream together:  Sugar, eggs, butter, sour cream, and vanilla/almond extracts.  Then add flour one cup at a time.  After all ingredients are mixed together well, chill the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Roll out dough into fun shapes and bake at 375 for 10 minutes (do not brown).  Let cookies chill on a cookie rack, and then frost to your heart's content.  I personally love to eat these cookies un-frosted, but I'm weird.
I use Betty Crocker's Butter Cream frosting Recipe HERE. I had to add about 2 additional tablespoons of milk than what the recipe calls for; you may have to add more depending on how soft and smooth you prefer your frosting. I also add 1/4 tsp of almond extract in addition to the vanilla extract, otherwise the frosting ends up tasting like runny powdered sugar, which I'm not a fan of.
This recipe yields about 90 cookies depending on the size of cookie cutter you use, and how thin you roll out your dough.  We rolled out our dough to about 3/16 - 1/4 inch thickness.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Poem: Balance Shaky, Faith Strong.

Those of you who have followed me for quite sometime, and those who've known me even before I ever began blogging, know I like to write little poems.  They used to begin:  "I am a girl with shoes on".  I've since changed that format.  Here is a little gem on this beautiful Thursday!

I am a girl with one leg standing.
My balance is shaky.
My faith is strong.
My stump is healed.
Sometimes I lose my nerve.
I am a girl with one leg standing.