One. Dark chocolate cookies with sour cherries via Martha Stewart. It’s winter. I continue to crave chocolate, and these cookies mixed with dried sour cherries are delish! A few notes: I only had Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa in the house and that worked just as well as Dutch Processed. Also, I let my cookies cool on the pan. I find that they’re too gooey to transfer right after baking. And you can definitely make the batter and refrigerate some of it to bake later. I have baked a pan three different times this week. Weirdly, the recipe only gets 3 stars on Martha’s website—but there are 72 reviews. I think it has to do with cooling and transferring the cookie.
Two. Using the Instant Pot for Indian food—I know this isn’t anything new to people on the Instant Pot band wagon, but it’s been a game changer for me. I’ve made the butter chicken recipe, and on the stove, I make curried red lentils to accompany the chicken. Also, I pressure cooked frozen chicken breasts last night. I followed this recipe (though I added some olive oil, kosher salt, & cracked pepper) and then made a quick stir fry with veggies and leftover rice. Simple and good.
Three. The Spatty —Happily, I happened upon this accidentally when I asked a cosmetics retailer the best way to get the 20% of product left at the bottom of my foundation. I guess it’s a Shark Tank product. Either way, I’m excited to use it. It’s so frustrating spend money on makeup & lotions and then waste so much.
Rabbit trail conversation: I think I’m an old soul (basically, 43 going on 90) and really prefer a traditional department store makeup counter to Sephora. In Michigan, we have a department store, Von Maur—it reminds me of Nordstrom—I mean, who doesn’t love a little piano music while you shop & they have a great shoe sale room.
Last week, the makeup counter person called to tell me about an upcoming sale and that’s when I asked about getting the last bits of product out of my foundation bottle. I realize that I could have Googled this, and that sales people can be annoying, but it was so nice to have someone call & check in. And I actually needed a few items, so I placed an order — which they ship for free — along with advice about the Spatty. : )
Four. For Valentines Day, I did a FB live for Tree Classics on The 5 Love Languages. I think it helped me more than anyone else. I ended up having the whole family—Brock, kids, and my mom, take the quiz. It was a fun re-introduction to the 5 Love Languages, and a good reminder that each of the kids & my husband experience love differently.
Five. Reading through the Psalms for family devotions. I hesitated to share this one because I realize that there is no one size fits all for family devos, and for fear that as soon as I share this we’ll fall off the wagon. ; ) In fact, our oldest is 13 and we have struggled for years to find something that really fit & is consistent. We’ve been hit or miss with fighter verses (though I think they’re brilliant), we’ve tried reading short devos to the kids and they seem to tune us out.
That said, Brock, a month or so ago shared that his men’s bible study had read scripture together and answered three questions: what leads you to rejoice, repent, request when you read through these scriptures. We decided to apply these questions to the Psalms, and the kids have been really engaged every night. It may be that they’re at the right age for it (13, 11, 9 & 9) or maybe it’s more interactive. We read the Psalm out loud, take a few minutes journaling our answers and then we finish by sharing answers and praying.
Finally, I would love some input! We need a list of good family movies. I have been feeling the slow creep of garbage movies making their way into our home. It’s always slow and a bit insidious. So I’m trying to compile a list of movies that we want to watch as a family so when Friday night rolls around we’re not scrambling. Would love to hear from you!