Two-Cheese Italian Broccoli Crustless Quiche

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I forgot I knew how to make quiche until Mom reminded me.

I was talking, well, really complaining, that I was running out of low carb ideas for supper, that I would actually want to eat. My husband loves low carb meals and I prefer whole grains and lean protein. So, I have to get creative.

Mom used to make us quiche all the time when I was little. The only difference with mine is that I am not pouring the filling into a pre-made pie crust painted with a layer of yellow mustard (although, I love that version!).

For this quiche I used what I had on hand and in the freezer. Other combos that would be great are sausage and cheddar, adding ham to the one I made, and a feta and red pepper version.

Here’s what you need:
5 eggs
1/4 c half and half
1/2 c chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
3 slices provolone
1/4-1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 T chopped green onions
1/2 t onion and garlic powder
1 T Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray

Here’s what you do
1. Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Cook frozen broccoli in steamable package 2/3 of the way. While cooking, whisk together the all but provolone in medium bowl.
3. Arrange broccoli on plate and chop with kitchen shears to get to desired size. (I think it cooks better if broccoli is chopped to about 1/2 inch bits. It makes it easier to eat without huge chunks falling out of the mix too.)
4. Cut provolone into thin strips (like julienne) and arrange over broccoli. Pour egg mixture over top, sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and pit in oven.
5. Cook about 15-20 minutes until cooked through and top browns. (It will smell amazing!) The top will rise like a soufflé but that’s ok. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

I ate a quarter of the pie with some extra broccoli, and a mini bagel with a bit of pumpkin spice cream cheese. My husband ate the rest of the pie with some Duke’s mayonnaise–another staple of our household.

It’s turned from fall to winter in the last few days.

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I am escaping the cold for a few days with a business trip to Orlando, Disney World to be exact. The conference I am attending is actually at Disney. I am leaving this morning and won’t be back until Sunday. And, my hubby is not going. I am going to miss him terribly but I do admit I will not miss the football all day Saturday and Sunday. Every game is important to him and I am a one game a week kinda girl.

I think I need a hobby.

Thankfully, Continued

The month is entering double digit days. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here!
This year we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with both our families on separate days, which means two meals. And I won’t be too full from one to deserve the next. There are two days between the two: one is on Thursday, the other is Saturday. And, I can’t wait to put up my Christmas tree. I wonder if I can talk the hubby into putting ours up next week?? Check out these ornaments… Do you buy a new ornament every year? We do. It must be a penguin or penguins.

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The past weekend I got to spend a few days with my mom and sister, who picked out a cool concert to attend in Greenville. We loved the For King and Country concert at this 140-plus year old church! The First Presbyterian Church of Greenville was packed and the entertainment was modern, but the message was eternal!

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I also realized how much I missed my mom this weekend. We just had the best time shopping, cooking and hanging out together.
And, the fall leaves are perfect!

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All of the above… I am so grateful.

30 Days of Gratitude: Days 1-3

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” – Colossians 30:17

November started out with some of the coldest temps on record in South Carolina. The early snow in Columbia, a few hours south of us, broke the record set in 1909. A hundred years of warmth ended with that early snow – three inches in some places. While it didn’t snow on our little homestead, around us friends and neighbors were posting pictures of their white yards and snow-covered Halloween pumpkins. I even saw a car covered in snow driving down the road in front of me! All Saints Day started with a brisk… pace.

I am booked the next few weekends – well, basically all of the weekends between now and Thanksgiving weekend. So here’s how I’ll make the most of it and focus on what I’m supposed to do. (Including trying to stay healthy, since I’m currently sitting at home nursing a tummy bug.) These are things I’m grateful for – days 1-3.

1. Prayer. I am going to spend more time in prayer (and now that I say it, in swooping from all directions all the things that will try their best to distract me… as if on cue.) But, with His power and focus, I’m planning to learn a bit more about my relationship with Jesus and plug into more focused, and intentional prayer times. My prayer status has been “without ceasing” for a long time, but I just want to get more intimate, more snuggled up with the Savior, and so I’m going to push into the Word more and complete the weekly devotional from our Disciple Life class. It’s a question posed from the guest pastor last night, which are you going to serve? The flesh or the spirit? Whichever one you feed, is the one that will win. It’ll be stronger and overpower the one that you don’t feed. I really liked that analogy.

2. Drugs that work and remembering to take my meds like I’m supposed to. I’m resolving to finally go buy a weekly pill sorter. It’s a stupid thing but if I don’t remember to take my meds at regular intervals, I can tell… as side effects are not something to play around with (random, fast-onset heart-racing, anxiety attacks, to be exact). Maybe this is TMI (and I admit, to say it here does scare me a bit as I’m not one to broadcast health things) but I’ve been struggling with the management of a chronic illness for a while, and even before I was officially diagnosed in March, but I’m making it, drugs are working and I’m not allowing myself to be defined by the illness. It doesn’t get to decide my fate. It’s just something I deal with, like someone who has to deal with diabetes or allergies. I have fibromyalgia. It’s a really stupid thing, and it won’t get the best of me. I manage it with proper, balanced nutrition, learning to be kinder to myself and discovering my limits (and how to say “no”) and staying on the meds, which seem to be working. The problem, fibro fog is real. And it’s funny to be so sure you took your meds that morning, when you realize at lunchtime that really, you were remembering the action of taking the meds the day before… so a pill sorter will be great! I love lists. Lists are my superpower. Get pill sorter – going on the list.

3. Number three thing I’m grateful for is my awesome husband. He’s my strong shoulder to lean into. This last year has been such a beautiful time of growth and understanding in our marriage. Learning to be married has been awesome and crazy and wonderful all at the same time. Taking time to celebrate each other in our busy, loaded lives is one key to our happiness. We traveled to Table Rock State Park yesterday just to see what there was to see. And, we found this.

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We discovered the back porch at the Table Rock State Park Visitor’s Center. Sitting in the side-by-side rocking chairs, soaking up the sun, listening to the crickets in the nearby field and holding hands while enjoying the view and light chilly breeze, that’s a perfect Sunday afternoon. I’m so blessed to be able to say that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and God’s best for me!

A few notes:
On point #1: If you’re looking for a good devotion on prayer, check out Michael Catt’s “Power of Persistence” in the Fall 2014 MasterWork from Lifeway. Or, one of my favorite online daily devotional sites: Proverbs 31 Ministries. Today’s devotion on the “Power of a Simple Prayer” is awesome. These devotions are always perfectly timed – just what I needed, right when I needed it – even if I didn’t know I needed it!

On point #2: I say all this so someone, not sure who, will read this and feel empowered and think positive thoughts about this illness and not think that it needs to define them. That it’s a label, or a prison sentence. I thought at first it was, for a split second of about a week, because I was so shocked that it was happening to me, but since I have lived with the symptoms (all random and seemingly disconnected) for so long, to now know what was wrong – and to have some answers on how to fix it and make it better, make it livable, that was the relief. That was the victory. That is the solution. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you get this same diagnosis. Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, these things are real, but you can take steps to make them, and your life, better. Off my soapbox. And, yes, I’m learning as I go.)

On point #3: I just can’t say enough how much I love him!

p.s. Happy (Belated) Halloween! Can you guess who I am dressed as?

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Three Step Meatballs

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I made these meatballs for supper last night, but these are far from the kind that take hours to make. And no one need know.

My secret: pre-made meatballs with an easy homemade sauce.

I add similar seasonings to my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce but limit the quantity of sauce to just cover the meatballs. They taste authentic, and with a nice covering of shredded mozzarella cheese, they are husband and kid pleasers, too.

Here’s what you need:
1 can no salt added basil, oregano and garlic diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen meatballs (italian or regular)
1 Vidalia onion, chopped
1 t. each of italian seasoning; garlic & herb no salt seasoning; and, ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 t. olive oil

Here’s what you do (in three steps)
1. In non-stick skillet, add oil, onion and seasonings, sauté until translucent (about 7-10 minutes).
2. Add the tomatoes (with the juice). Simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Add the meatballs, stir and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes on simmer (medium-low heat). Stirring infrequently to check to see how tomatoes are reducing and not sticking to bottom of pan. Serve warm. Top with cheese, optional.

Step three can also combine the sauce with meatballs and bake in covered dish in oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Just depends if you want another dish to wash. And, I modified my dish to cook it all the way on the stovetop because I am just not… washing…. Anymore… Dishes!!! (Than I have to.)

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I served them with my favorite veggie these days: roasted carrots. These are how they are supposed to look and they taste like candy! I put my meatballs on a bed of quinoa and it was delicious–and healthy!

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Enjoy!

p.s. Don’t mind my “fine china”. It was Monday night and this was as good as it was going to get!

College football, family and spinach artichoke dip

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Football Saturday. A Gator Fan, Bulldog Fan and a Tiger Fan go for a walk in downtown Easley, SC. They discover a 100 year old department store to plunder and a hidden amphitheater that is showing a family movie at 8 p.m. tonight – Frozen. Around the corner from the park, they discovered a little alley with zinnias and other summer flowers in full bloom, screaming their beauty knowing full well the first fall freeze is just around the corner.

I missed my brother and his new bride. It’s so wonderful to have my family here visiting with us in our new home for the first time. After our short tour around town, we stopped at the grocery store and picked up the ingredients for this spectacularly super yummy spinach artichoke dip. Thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything for the recipe! The only change-up to her recipe was that we didn’t add cayenne and topped the dip with a sprinkle of paprika. Killer. I could eat it all!

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My brother and his bride

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My little brother and me. He’s not so little anymore.

My heart’s smiling.

My mother-in-law’s hamburger pizza

My husband lost 60 pounds by switching to a low carb diet. This is one of the recipes my hubby loves and my mother-in-law taught me to make.

I have tried to make it just like her, with the exact same ingredients but it never tastes just like hers. So instead of going crazy over that discrepancy, I’ve just decided to modify it… on purpose.

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Low Carb Hamburger Pizza (my version)

Here’s what you need:
1-2 lbs. ground beef
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1 t. onion powder
1 T. Italian seasoning
4 T. Pizza sauce
2 c. Italian blend shredded cheese
Pepperoni

Here’s what you do:
1. Brown onions and beef, drain. Mixin the seasonings. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spread two tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of a pie plate. (If you have enough meat, prepare two pie plates, thus need for four tablespoons sauce.)
3. Top with beef mix, shredded cheese and pepperoni to suit your taste.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes until browned on top. My hubby likes it well done so I sometimes cook for 35 minutes.
5. Cool five minutes then serve. I usually pair it with a salad or roasted carrots and broccoli.

If you want to make several and freeze, cover with aluminum foil and wrap with one full layer aluminum foil after step 3. Freezes for up to two months pretty well. I don’t always defrost before cooking; in which case I cook at 375 for 45 minutes.

Easy, low carb dinner. If you are watching your fats, use lean beef, 2% cheese and turkey pepperoni.

September’s closing

I have been silent this summer. Partly because of increased work responsibilities, partly because of disinterest and the other part because I have been keeping my thoughts to myself. Mulling over things, reminiscing, remembering. Working out and cleaning out, and putting away.
Don’t we all do that as season’s change? Clean up and pack up our summer clothes in boxes and pull out our winter clothes from storage. Clean off the deck and pack up the pool supplies for the next summer. Winterize our yard and gardens.

I have been cleaning up and cleaning out my heart. I have been settling in to my new life as wife and sojourner with my amazing husband that God has blessed me with. But along the way, I have been startled to learn that I really have had to leave behind. I have been trying so hard to hold on to everything and everyone that I am at the point I need to let go so I can fully step into and embrace my new role. For me, this has been one of the greatest internal realizations and growth spurts in my life.
Being dependent on my husband and being relied on as a wife are two new roles of responsibility and submission that I am just now starting to understand and relax into. My head got it; my heart wanted it; and now, I am finally getting the hang of it.
I love my life and the comfortable secure placement God has brought me to in this new season. I am at peace. I am full of joy. And I am so happy to be right where I am, in this moment; which happens to be sitting next to my hubby in our new family car riding to our parents to wish my mother-in-law a happy birthday.
Knitting away…
Little by little God’s weaving my tapestry together; knitting together the frayed pieces of my life and heart into a beautiful, comforting kaleidoscope of memories and new beginnings.
I am so thankful. Thanking Him for all of these blessings.

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Happy Fourth of July Weekend & Peach Delight!

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Note: As I sat on the back porch swing this morning, sipping my coffee – lovingly prepared and served by my hubby with a little whipped cream on top like he knows I like it – I started counting my blessings. And couldn’t stop. We really are blessed by all that God has provided for us. Sure, there are things and stuff that we’d like to have but it is not necessary for us to have those things to be happy. Happiness – true inner peace – comes from knowing God and his son Jesus Christ. It’s contented trust in Him that He will give us those things our hearts desire and find pleasure and joy in – like yesterday’s adventure. Just a little porch swing philosophizing for you…

Happy Fourth of July from our family to yours!
(Yes, I know it’s the Fifth of July but these were our photos from yesterday and I wanted to share… and we’re still celebrating.)

Yesterday morning I picked a few blackberries from the brambles I found in the backyard. My husband took the weed-whacker to the overgrown area around the patch last weekend, making an open pathway for me to access the little treasures. I have the best husband and I can’t stand snakes! To find blackberries in my own backyard, after a few weeks of spying them in the ditches along our backroads, makes me incredibly happy. Picking blackberries is part of my youth and a summer tradition.

Later that day we traveled 130 miles one way south to the Lexington County Peach Festival in the tiny town of Gilbert, SC. Located a little to the east of Columbia, this festival is a South Carolina tradition. We celebrated their 56th year with a new personal favorite – a Peach Delight! According to what I was told, Blue Bell ice cream company is located in Lexington and every year they make a special batch of peach ice cream, only to be sold at this festival. You cannot buy it in stores – and I’m kinda glad. If it was readily available to me all year round, I’d be in major trouble every week at Weight Watchers! The Peach Delight is just that, a true, refreshing delight on a hot July afternoon: peach ice cream piled with fresh peach slices, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Perfect!

The Peach Tea was also wonderful – and I’d recommend both! But the Peach Delight is a MUST.

The last photo is of my hubby (the drummer) and his band mates – The East Coast Band of Spartanburg, SC. This 30-plus year old band headlined the festival. We were also blessed by several friends from around the state and south who joined us at the festival. It was a wonderful time to catch up with each other and their young and growing families. I’m so glad I get the opportunity to travel around the state and learn about new places and events. It’s a joy to travel! I hope I never grow weary of learning and experiencing new things and opportunities.

Embrace your life – and where God takes you! :)

Have a great July Fourth Weekend – and remember why we’re able to say “I’m proud to be an American!” (It’s amazing to think our country is “free” because of the remarkable men and women who were and are willing to lay down their life for us. Thank you doesn’t seem enough, but I say it from my heart in bountiful gratitude.)

Fourth of July

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

Killer Black Beans and Brown Rice – Thanks, Rachel!

I was hungry. Really hungry.
So I started a quest from pantry to Pinterest and back to find out what I could eat – in a relatively short period of time – that would not only be good but all of the ingredients were already in my pantry.
I happened upon this recipe for Mexican Black Beans and Brown Rice from Rachel’s Pantry. (Rachel, I found your recipe on Pinterest through a search for brown rice and beans.)
Since I didn’t have ALL of the ingredients, here’s how I improvised.
(Don’t worry. You can improvise, too. You could add a can of corn instead of beans or extra tomatoes, whatev!)

My Killer Black Beans and Brown Rice – looks good, doesn’t it?

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Here’s what you’ll need:
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10-oz can “Rotel” type tomatoes and chiles
1 c. brown rice – prepare as package directs
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
1/2 c. frozen red and green bell pepper and onion slices (like you would use for fajitas – I always keep some in the freezer)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil (if you must – I love my non-stick pan so I don’t use this if I don’t have to)
1 small can of green chiles (because I wanted more veggie and I love green chiles)
2 T cumin
1 T chili powder
1 t. dried cilantro (or you could use some fresh)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t Adobo seasoning
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c. water

Here’s what you do:
1. Prepare rice as directions state.
2. In large saute pan, saute onion, garlic, olive oil and pepper/onion mixture. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes, green chiles, beans, seasonings and water. Bring to slow boil as you reduce – about another 10 minutes. (I cook it down so the seasonings can mesh before I add the rice.)
3. Stir in prepared rice and simmer for about a minute or two. Remove from heat – but serve it hot.

Suggestions from friends and family to make it better:
Uncle Don said to add some sausage and fried plantains for a good Cuban supper.
Another family member said to add a few hot dogs for an easy, kid-friendly meal.

It makes a great packed lunch and heats up well in the microwave. I was thinking it’d be REALLY good if you used it as Zucchini Boat stuffing.

What do you think you’d like to do with it? Besides eat it! :)
It has a killer flavor and yes, it did hit that hungry spot.

Proud Nerd: Desktop Organized!

Tonight while my husband practices with his band and I spend the evening half-listening/watching “So You Think You Can Dance” while cruising Pinterest, I found this intriguing article. Which turned into a challenge.

Follow the directions and you’ll be as thrilled as I am.

I organized my desktop — on my computer!

“Desktop Organization Backgrounds | Clean up your Computer {2 new backgrounds!}” from Moritz Fine Designs was easy to follow and now, after a quick analysis of how I use my computer, is ready for me to use it… better. 

My computer desktop was starting to look like my physical desktop – cluttered with papers in need of filing.

In hind sight, I probably should have made my largest block the “Files to File” area, but I am hoping the smaller area will force me to stay more organized. 

Here’s what it looks like:

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Design by Moritz Fine Designs customized by Daylilygrl

Here’s what I did:

1. Followed the directions in this article’s how-to. I chose the aqua circle background to download.

2. In PicMonkey, I used a modern font and organized my blocks into the following: Design Projects, Files to File, Programs, Inspiration, All So Daily and Plan Ahead. I also added my favorite Bible verse and a thumbnail of a favorite photo from our wedding.

3. After saving the file, I just right-clicked and set it as my desktop background. 

4. Then, I had to sort and move files. And, delete some unused shortcuts. I used Programs to put my shortcuts for everyday programs I may need for budgeting, design or writing. Under inspiration, I have some folders of personal photos and training guides in social media or marketing design. I put my Outlook and recycle bin in the All So Daily block. 

And, now it’s clean and ready for work.

Even better, it’s personalized and makes me feel smile that I took the time to find a unique way to approach my everyday work environment in a beautiful way.

How would you organize your desktop blocks?

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