Dinner: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

What feeds your spirit?

Nature feeds mine. Basking in God’s creation always rejuvenates my spirit, and reawakens the child like being within me.

I’ve  always been inspired and intrigued by the beauty that surrounds us here on earth. Often, I think if God made it so our natural eye can capture such beauty; just imagine the beauty we have yet to see. This concept of unseen beauty creates such hopefulness and ease no matter what I may be facing.

God is the original and greatest artist. In fact there would be no art if not for God’s creating hand:

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.- Isaiah 64:8

I love using colorful veggies and fruits (some of the Lord’s  most artistic effort) to enhance my recipes taste and visual appeal. JnF: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Dish

For this yummy dish, of Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake, I used a mixture of  sweet bell peppers, garlic and onions to bring out the flavor of the sweet Italian sausage and well seasoned chicken breast.

Chicken is a dinner staple. But who are we kidding, it gets boring. This recipe mix things up just a little, but is definitively not too labor intensive (I for one, don’t like to spend too much time preparing a meal).

Start by boiling about a box of rigatoni to aldente. Set aside.

Clean about a pound of thin cut chicken breast. Seasoning liberally, with salt, pepper, garlic power and I used a little sazon Spanish seasoning also. Throw a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan, and cook the thin chicken breast until cooked thru.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Then, cut a pack of sweet Italian sausage into small pieces.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Then, chop your bell peppers, onions and garlic.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Saute the chopped sausage and veggies in a medium fry pan with about  a teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, until veggies are wilted and sausages are cooked.

 

Once chicken is cooked, set aside,  cool and cut into cubed bits.

JnF :: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Now in a lasagna pan, add the previously boiled pasta. Mix with your favorite brand of marinara sauce, or if your feeling ambitious, scratch make your own.

Now load in the sausage, veggies and chicken breast, and stir slightly.

J n F:: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Top of with half a cup of mozzarella cheese.

Throw in the oven on medium to high heat for about 20 minutes, so all the flavors can marry.

Remove from oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into.

Serve with a simple side salad.

J n F:: Chicken and Sausage Pasta Bake

Enjoy and thank you for visiting;0

When Jesus Says ‘Yes’……

JnF :: Yes

A ‘Yes’ from God, is not the same as a ‘Yes’ from man.

When Jesus says ‘Yes’, mountains move to be in agreement. Seas part to be compliant. Man and all else falls in line, like it or not.

When Jesus says ‘Yes’ it is echoed into the past, present and the future- all at once.

No one can bend a ‘Yes’ from God to meet mans needs (try as we might). A ‘Yes’ from the Lord, will not renege, change it’s mind, or destination. Once spoken it will stand on it’s own, and all will either shift to it, or away from it.

One ‘Yes’ from God can denounce a million no’s from man, in a matter of seconds.

A ‘Yes’ from God is filled with definitive purpose and intention.

A ‘Yes’ from Jesus is not always an answered prayer. Sometimes an unanswered prayer is just as powerful and meaningful as an answered prayer. More to the point, a ‘Yes’ from Jesus, is not always the answer we go to the Lord for.

However, no matter our reluctance to obey the Lord’s ‘Yes’, remember His spoken word will sway the universe, and shift the atmosphere to suit His will.

I for one, often rely on good ole logic to steer me through life. However, God doesn’t always operate under logic. Sometime when God moves, He moves in a way that man can not explain away. He moves in a way that is not rationalized or marginalized within the limited parameters of the human conscience. This, I believe is to remove the guess work out of His work!

I have experienced a few painful ‘Yes’ from the Lord. My logic, my good sense, even my Christian sense, made me believe that His ‘Yes’, was surely a mistake. God is perfect, and makes no mistake. Personally, I have had to overcome and accept those hard “Yes” from the Lord.

When He takes a loved one too soon (in our eyes), or hardens a spouses heart against reconciliation in a marriage, or allows a disease to overcome a healthy body, those are the types of ‘ Yes’, we don’t look forward to receiving from God.

 However, what I have learned through accepting those though yes (albeit slowly, and sometime reluctantly) is that the Lord is in control of EVERYTHING. We may not always understand His reasoning. We may not even always agree with it, but we will bow to His “Yes”. Our lives will conform to His will.  

And if you give it some time; endure the excruciating pain of failure, lost, or whatever has defeated you, you will meet the promise: all things work together for the good of those that love God. (Romans 8:28)

I encourage anyone receiving a less than welcoming ‘Yes’ from the Lord to remember to love. Overcome the questions in your heart by loving yourself through the pain. Know also, that you were created by the creator of love!

With love, and blessings:)

Breakfast: Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Having a morning ritual is key to having an effective day.  When I rise, my first thought is thankfulness! I lay for a moment and just thank God for waking me up, and ask Him to give me the fuel I need to face my day, and overcome any barriers that the day and the devil may throw my way. If I have time and the spirit hits me, I’ll even get in the word a little bit and do some meditation.

One morning ritual I have tried very hard to keep, is eating breakfast. We’ve all heard it before; the warning that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it’s also one of the easiest meals to forgo; either because we’re rushing out the door, or if your anything like me, you’re just not hungry so early in the morning.

We can compare breakfast to the word of God. It’s very easy to forget to dwell in the word, until our spiritual selves become so starved that we begin to consume any and everything that we think may fulfill the spiritual void.When we skip breakfast, how often do we find ourselves so hungry by noon that we are make very bad choices in our food intake for the entire day!

The next time you choose to forgo breakfast, just remember Jesus ate the first meal of the day, therefore so should we!

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.- John 21:12

Since my issue for breakfast is usual time, I choose to make some yummy breakfast options ahead of time and freeze them away. This go round, I went for something I never made before, but always wanted to try. I call it Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins. 

Disclaimer: While writing this post, I am actually practicing a vegan diet (as best as I can), however I made and ate this recipe days before beginning my vegan venture 🙂

You Need:

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

-A non-stick muffin tin
-However many Eggs you’d like to make (I made four)
-Shredded Parmesan Cheese
-Scallions
-Red Peppers, Yellow Peppers, and any other veggies you’d like to use
-Salt and Pepper

Start by chopping your selected veggies.

 

Then crack your eggs and pour one egg per muffin tin. Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there layer your veggies. Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Then top off with the shredded parm cheese.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place it in the pre heated 385 degrees oven. After about 20 minutes remove from oven. The top should be slightly golden brown.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from muffin tin, and serve or freeze for another morning.

Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added a little corn beef hash to ours, and cut multi grain bread into tapas triangles and served hot while the cheese was still gooey!!! With breakfast like this, you won’t want to skip breakfast ever again.

 Cheesy Veggie Egg Muffins

Enjoy and be blessed!

 

 

 

 

Spicy Shrimp and Plenty Green Sautee

I love shrimp. Honestly. I really enjoy most shell fish, especially in warmer months. In my unprofessional opinion shrimp really is great when it comes to taking on flavor. A simple marinade for a short period of time goes a really long way.  My go to flavor for shrimp is butter garlic. Yum, at just the thought. However, I thought this time I would try a spicy garlic flavor, and opt to leave the butter out.

Before, we get into the recipe details, let’s talk a little Jesus! As I mentioned shrimp is delicious and it takes on flavor and seasoning with very little effort. For all intents and purposes, I’d say that that makes shrimp very useful. I can’t help but to wonder how easily, we (God’s children) take on the things of this world by which we are exposed to. Are we easily flavored by the world?

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

It’s important to remember the purpose and intent by which we were created. While shrimp was created to be an enjoyable dish to tickle our pallets and satisfy our taste buds, humans were created I’m sure with a far greater purpose. Which is why we have the ability to choose what flavor we take on. Will we choose to walk in the loving, kind ways of Jesus, or be influenced and colored by this cold world. The next time you face adversity, keep that in mind.

To go along with our flavorful spicy shrimp, we’ll go with what I call “Plenty Green Sautee”. And when I say plenty of greens, I mean plenty! Packed with all sorts of vitamins and mineral, this sauté is a perfect side dish.

Start by de-shelling and cleaning about 2 lbs of Shrimp

Jesus x Food:: Shrimp

Now grab a few plugs of fresh garlic. Peel them and chop them. Grab a medium yellow onion and do the same.
Jesus x Food:: garlic

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Onions Chopped

And now, my favorite part of cooking: Creating a spice. I love this part because this pretty much determines the taste of the dish. I went with some salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and seafood seasoning.

Jesus x Food:: spices

Now add that generous amount of spice to your Shrimp.

Jesus x Food :: Shrimp

Also, add some of that garlic that we chopped earlier and also a chopped Jalapeño for heat!

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Jalenpenos ChoppedNow cover and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile…..

Jesus x Food :: Garlic and Onions Chopped CookedIn a medium to large skillet add a few drops of olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the previously chopped garlic and onions.

Now pile on the greens. Asparagus, Green beans, Spinach, and kale. Yum!!!

Jesus x Food :: Plenty Green SauteJesus x Food :: Plenty Green SauteBring to a tender sauté. Be sure to season with a little salt and pepper while this green goodness is still cooking, so it can take on the seasoned taste.

Once the greens are tender, add a little homemade Italian dressing:

Jesus x Food :: Italian Dressing

Now it’s time to grab those Shrimps and heat another skillet with a few drops of olive oil, and add the Shrimp.

Jesus x Food :: Cooked ShrimpCook through for about 20 minutes on med heat. Add a little water about 5 minutes into cooking.

And now,

Jesus x Food :: Finished ShrimpEnjoy! A simple, yet flavorful, healthy dish.

Word Of The Day: #Peace

It’s no secret we live in an era, in which information travels at the speed of light.  Whether it’s a socio-political up rise from half way across the world, or what your neighbor’s having for dinner on #MeatlessMonday, getting the latest “news”, is as easy as refreshing your social media feed. However, in all the noise/information buzzing around us constantly, finding peace can be a trying task onto itself.

Unless we have tapped into what God has intended for us regarding peace.

What we must keep in mind, is that peace is not a thing to be acquired. The gift of peace already lives in us. Getting to that peaceful inner place, may be easier for some than others. However, with practice and patience we all have the ability to find it.

Some may call it meditation, others may just call it quiet time. However you refer to it, peace is vital in connecting with our spiritual selves and more importantly our maker.

In Mark 4:39 we see how Jesus speaks to the wind , and it gives us definitive direction in getting to our own peace:

And He arose, and rebuked the wind and said unto the sea, “Peace, be still.” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Command your chaos to cease, and  simply be still.

 

Word of the Day: #LOVE

Never forget just how much the Lord loves us all.

If you’re a parent, you can somewhat reason with the sacrifice the Lord made to offer His one begotten Son, Jesus Christ as means to show His love towards us.

Today, and everyday remember just how much the Lord loves you. He loves us all enough to never leave our side, no matter what we may have done.  He loves us enough to pull us up, when we are down. He loves us enough to always offer an olive branch of forgiveness, and an abundance of grace to walk us through our guilt, or pain.

Never forget you are love, by the creator of love!

God So Loved

 

 

What’s For Dinner: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice and Grilled Veggies

Perfect harmony.

When two or more subjects are working for a greater good, or enhancing experience. We see examples of this all through the bible. In fact, scripture reminds “Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name (Matthew 19-20)”

While, a harmonious gathering in the name of the Lord is beyond powerful, preparing a meal that comes together in great harmony, each piece complimenting the other is also quite magical. That’s exactly the case with these Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies.

I start with these fresh ingredients:

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Cornish Hens:

Cornish hens are small variation of your regular size roaster chicken, and therefore tend to be much more supple, and flavorful. A nice blend of spices and seasonings go a long way. I added a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, garlic herb, and thyme together in a bowl, and mixed all together for my tasty rub.Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

I was sure to get the entire hen, including under the skin, and the back part as well. Before spicing the hens, I clean them (like I do all poultry), and cut them down the middle breast. Place each hen bone side down.Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesI then place the hens in the oven uncovered and cook for about 1.5 hour, or until skin is golden and meat is cooked through.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Asparagus Spanish Rich:

I simple purchased a box of yellow Spanish rice from one of my favorite brands, to save some time. However, for authentic Spanish rice try this recipe. I followed the directions for cooking my rice, as per the box. Meanwhile I chopped a handful of asparagus and onions. In a small pan I added some olive oil, and sautéed the asparagus and onions.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesOnce the veggies were tender, I added them at the top of the rice, which was still cooking. After the rice cooks through, mix the asparagus in.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Grilled Veggies:

Few things in life are more delicious then perfectly grilled fresh veggies. The yumminess is unreal. For this recipe, I pulled out our countertop grill, but it can also be done stove top. I chopped up Zucchini, Red Peppers, Yellow Pepper, and Onions. I then seasoned the veggies with a dash of salt and pepper.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesJesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled VeggiesOnce, the delicious Cornish hens are done, it’s time to start plating this meal.

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Jesus N Food :: Cornish Hens, Asparagus Spanish Rice, and Grilled Veggies

Enjoy, and as always be blessed.

What Happens When We Stop Believing

There is no saint or sinner alive that can say they have never encountered trials and tribulations of some sort in this thing called life. In fact, often it’s those very difficulties in life that encourages most to seek a higher being. What the devil meant for evil against me, God meant it for good. (Gen 50:20)  While scripture is truth, and God can never lie, when we are in the thick of a storm it is easy to doubt that situation will lead to any good on our behalf when it looks and feels like it is leading directly to our demise. Unfortunately, often when we as Christians find ourselves in a hopeless situation we make a mistake that only leads to more uncertainty and doubt in our lives: we let go of God’s unchanging hand.

Recently, I found myself in this very circumstance. Feeling drained, and spiritually beaten up from a failing marriage, and an unfulfilling professional life, I took a break from the Lord. That sounds ridiculous as I write it. In my mind and heart I knew I still loved the Lord whole heartedly, but I just wanted to try to figure my life out on my own. At least that’s what I told myself. In actuality, I got impatient with the Lord. Things did not work out the way I thought they should have and I became fustrated and faithless. Even though I felt I was doing my due diligence as a Christian, I still got screwed! The nerve of me huh! Like God owed me something, other than the breath of life He exalted to me daily. Perhaps this is the very reason why the Lord warns us against feeling sorry for ourselves for too long: (A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov. 17:22). That sorrow I felt for myself lead to bad decision making. The trick of the devil is that once we let go of our King’s hand, the guilt we feel becomes the reason why we continue to shun away from Him.

While facing this period, I found it impossible to pray for myself. I felt my line of communication with my maker was disconnected and out of service indefinitely. I knew I was living for the world and therefore left myself open to the harms of this world. I knew any minute tragedy could occur. Yet, there would be no one there to console me or encourage me. This too lead me to feel even more overwhelmed. However, the few times I did find the strength to muster up a prayer (mainly for my children), I found they would be answered immediately. Huh?! If I knew better then, I would know that those answered prayers were Gods way of telling me, “I’m still right here”.

One night that my spirit became extremely weary, and tears poured, I picked up the phone and called a friend. Someone that was more than just a friend actually, he was my spiritual partner for over a decade, my husband. Although we faced and continue to face divorce, he was the only person I knew I could call, and would somehow understand what I was facing. I cried to him and confessed my sins, and my inability to seek God in this time. He spoke to me in a honest, and truthful way that only he could. No sugar coating what I had been doing. And he told me something that I will never forget: “God is speaking to you through your conscience.” I guess those words stuck to me because I had felt that God had stopped communicating with me all together. Yet, that did make perfect sense since it was my heavy conscience that kept me up at night and made me feel bouts of guilt to remind me I was not living right! My husband promised to pray for me. Something I needed, since I was unable to pray for myself. While our conversation calmed my spirit enough that I could get some rest that night, the next day I awoke and not much had changed internally. I had went about my life, the same as I had been for the last few months, living for the world.

One morning after getting off work from an overnight shift, I put an almost empty bottle of water I had been sipping on through the night in my work bag to take it home. Continue reading What Happens When We Stop Believing

Easy Christmas Meal: Stuffed Turkey Rolls and Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Every year the holiday season comes along, and I kind of get anxiety. There is so much pressure, especially on parents to create magical and wonder-filled Christmas memories and traditions, packed with perfect gifts, beautiful décor, and delicious elaborate meals.  Well just as the anxiety kicks in, I kick it’s butt by reminding myself that Jesus is the reason for the season!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.(Luke 2:4-7)

A delicious meal is expected on a day like Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be one that is labor intensive. That’s why this recipe of Stuffed Turkey Rolls with Fresh Cranberry Sauce on the side is so perfect. You still get to experience all the flavors of the holidays we all know and love, but without all the hours poured into it.

Stuffed Turkey Rolls:

Boil about 4 cups or so of water.

While the water is boiling:

Chop red and yellow bell peppers (green too if you’d like), medium white onion, and about a cup of baby bella mushrooms.

Jesus + Food :: Stuffings Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Sautee over medium heat, until veggies are soft and wilted.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

In a medium size bowl, add the stuffings and pour the boiled water over it (not all, use discretion) until it is a soft but firm texture. Add the wilted veggies.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey RollsJesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Now lay 2-3 pieces of turkey slices next to eachother, and a spoonful of the stuffing’s. Roll the turkey slices up. Repeat until all turkey slices are finished. ( Whatever left over stuffing you have can be served on the side)

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey RollsJesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Homemade gravy:

In the same pan that the veggies were sautéed in add a cup or two of chicken broth. Bring to a slow simmer. Add a few spoons of flour while stirring rapidly to avoid lumps. Let gravy thicken some (adding more flour will yield a thicker consistency) and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Jesus + Food: Homemade Gravy

Before placing the rolls in the oven, pour the gravy on top of each roll.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Bake rolls for about 20-25 minutes on about 350 degrees.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Fresh Cranberry Sauce:

Jesus + Food: Fresh Cranberry Sauce

In a quart pan, add a pack of fresh cranberry, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup white or raw sugar. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring often until the cranberries are jellied. Cool before serving.

Jesus + Food: Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Serve with a dinner roll, like this one, and there you have it a simple, but delicious Christmas dinner. And the best part is after you prepare this meal, you still have time to reflect on this glorious day, and the true purpose behind it.

Jesus + Food: Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Ingredients:

Stuffed Turkey Rolls:

1-2 lbs of honey roasted turkey, sliced thin

2-3 boxes of stove top stuffing’s

1 Onion, 1 Red Pepper, 1 Yellow Pepper, and 1 cup babybella mushrooms

Homemade Gravy:

Chicken Broth

A few tablespoons of All Purpose flour

A pinch of salt and pepper

Cranberry Sauce:

A bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup Orange Juice

1/2 cup sugar of choice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemony Garlicky Crunchy Chicken

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ( 1 Corinthians 13 )

Why fry, when you can bake. Chicken that is.

Sure nothing can ever replace the crispy crunchy factor that we get from good ole fried chicken, but lets be honest, fried chicken is not healthy. Not even a little bit. However, when in the mood for flavorful crispy chicken there is a way to have your chicken and eat it too.

This recipe for Lemony Garlicky Crunchy Chicken is full of flavor, and is rather finger licking good.

Preheat oven to 380 degrees

Start with about a pound of cleaned, skin on chicken thighs

The key item needed here is a elevation rack ( I use one like this) Place the rack on a baking sheet. This allows for the oils and water to release from the chicken, making it more crunchy as it cooks through.

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

Now it’s time to add your flavor to the chicken. I spice the skin and under the skin well, and also turn each thigh to spice the back as well.
Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

The spices I use are pre made:

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicy Crunchy Chicken

However, you can achieve the same with the following:

o 1 tablespoon sea salt

o 1 tablespoon garlic

o 1 teaspoon thyme

o 1 teaspoon Course Black Pepper

o A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Now dash a little olive on the chicken, and place in the oven

Bake for about 1 hour or until the skin is crispy and chicken is cooked all the way through.

Jesus + Food :: Lemony Garlicly Crunchy Chicken

I served mine with a side of broccoli, and baked sweet potatoes!

Enjoy, and be blessed!