Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Easy Crockpot Sausage Lentil Soup (with a kick!)

I don't typically blog about recipes I cook.
Probably because I don't consistently "cook" so I feel a tad like a hypocrite if I start blogging about cooking yummy meals.
I guess I cook maybe four times a week, and the rest of the week I tell my clan to grab sandwiches or leftovers. Yep.
But this recipe is ahmayzingly yummy, so it's a typical meal around here, and I've just gotta let y'all in on it...

Not into lentil soup? Shut your mouth.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, because you clearly have only tried lentils raw or soaked in water. This is the only way I can understand why you don't like it.
Because lentil soup is the BEST. Especially with Rotel and sausage.

Ok so here we go.

1lb Hillshire Farm Turkey Sausage (or whatever kind of sausage you prefer)
1lb dry lentils
1 can Rotel
3 fresh carrots, cut (or 1 can of carrots)
1 cup of frozen spinach
6 cups of water
1/2 Vidalia onion
2 tablespoons of garlic powder (I'm the garlic powder queen, so I put lots more than that in)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder

How to:
Cut up the Vidalia onion and sausage. Sautee those on the stove together.
While you let those cook a little, dump all of the other ingredients into your crockpot.
After the onions and sausage have browned a little, dump those into the crockpot too.
Put the temperature on LOW for about 6 hours. Or HIGH for about 4 hours.

That's it! Enjoy!

And let me know if you try this, love this, or make adjustments to this!
Kolby and I fell in love with it when we were teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey for a few weeks.
So I love hearing different lentil recipes!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

a suitcase of malice and a carry-on of poor excuses


Anybody come to mind?

I hope someone doesn't pop into your mind when you read those words. I hope that you haven't had to encounter the kind of evil weight that comes with someone who carries these words with them as if it's necessary luggage for their life journey.

Unfortunately I know I'm not the only person to ever encounter someone who smiles to your face and stabs you in the back. Someone who twists their words just right to make it sound like you're the bad guy in the scenario. The one who glares and snaps, so viciously, determined to destroy precious moments and days.

It's takes everything in you to not run away or scream when you're in their presence. You talk yourself up before going around them. Roll-play in your head the right words to say. Pray, begging God for the strength to simply be civil.

While they carry a suitcase of malice, they also carry around the classic set of excuses.
The tough childhood. The parents who just weren't enough. The one bad mistake that no one lets them live down. The finances. The people who wouldn't help.

If you know somebody like this your heart rate is a little higher right now, isn't it?
Just thinking of how difficult or impossible they can be is unnerving. What do you do? Get angry or scared? Or maybe overwhelmed? We all react differently. Overwhelmed would best describe my heart.

I don't know about you, but these are not the kind of people I surround myself with. My closest friends are people of integrity, who love peace, and inspire hope in my soul. So when life circumstances bring in a person who carries a suitcase of malice and a carry-on of poor excuses, what can I do? How does this play out? Light in the darkness takes on a whole new, relevant meaning in my heart. And I know the power within me is stronger than the one in the world. I'm not left alone with the darkness. I am the light. Because He is the light.

So I breathe. I find healthy coping mechanisms. I put up healthy boundaries. I decide not to take on the luggage they are carrying and attempting to throw at others. While it's ultimately handcuffed to their own wrists, locked by a key they refuse to give up, I know from experience the weight of it can still hit hard when it's thrown. I may take some bruises, but I won't be crushed by the weight. And above all, I know I'm not abandoned by the Comforter and Healer.

 "I would give anything to make you better. To point you to free. You're not helping yourself by hurting me."