Thursday, June 27, 2019

BBQ Ranch Grilled Chicken & Veggie Bowls

This recipe post is an update of a previous one posted a few years ago (click here) ... and this recipe is absolutely delicious! It has been awhile since I have made it, and after having it again recently, I wonder why I have waited so long to prepare this dish again. It is listed as one of my favorite recipes on my "Our Family Recipes" page here on the blog.

There are several steps to preparing this dish, but the time spent is well worth it. First step is to prepare the rice and beans. (This would also make a good side dish to go along with other main dishes.)

Next you'll want to prepare the chicken breast to refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before grilling, basting it with Hidden Valley Honey BBQ Ranch Dressing. It's worth the purchase of this tasty dressing just to use with this recipe.

While the chicken is basting in the refrigerator, you'll grill the sliced zucchini and red pepper in a grill basket. You can also grill the corn-on-cob, or can choose to prepare frozen corn.

While the chicken breast is grilling, you slice up the avocodo. When all is prepared, spoon the cooked rice into bowls. Top with the sliced, cooked chicken, zucchini & bell peppers, corn, and avocado. Drizzle more of the dressing on top, and add some fresh cilantro, if desired. 

Click here for the recipe ingredients, for detailed instructions, and to print the recipe. You'll also see some beautiful photos of this dish! (Thanks to "Tastes Better from Scratch" blog for sharing this delicious recipe!)

An update from a previous recipe post.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Just Three Weeks Later

Three weeks of soaking up the rays of the sun and the nutrients from the soil and the rain. The seeds were planted in mid-May, and then this happened (photo above). Click here to see a photo of this same garden spot taken just three weeks ago. It has been amazing to watch the growth. I almost cannot believe my eyes ... just three weeks later, and you can see all the beauty in the photo above.

The growth has been steady. Day by day. It happened quietly; no noise and no fanfare. Just the various seeds and plant starts faithfully doing what they were created to do. Taking in the sun's rays, and soaking up the rain. 

The transformation takes place so slowly, so quietly; we are taken by surprise. The growth, hidden at first under the soil, then visible. Each morning we wake up to more growth. Slowly, but surely. The beauty captivates us; it feeds our souls. How do we even comprehend, how do we even explain the beauty of God's creation?

And I am reminded, and I am challenged. If you, and if I, faithfully pause our busyness to soak up the Word, and to open our eyes and our hearts up to His love and grace - daily, moment-by-moment throughout our days - what could happen? How would we be changed in even just three short weeks? If every day, every evening, and throughout the day ... we would pause, be still, and let Truth soak in deep to our hearts and our minds. If we open our eyes and our hearts through our days, in the midst of our days - watching, looking for all the ways that He loves us. 

It's a paradox; I cannot explain. To be still, is to grow. The seeds are silent, still. In position to receive. And then they grow. 

Be still, 
and know that I am God.
(Psalm 46:10 ESV)

And I desire the same. To be still is to receive. To faithfully pause, to soak up His Love and His Grace. The soaking up, the receiving, is what brings growth. To still our souls is to open the door to receive. To be what we were created to be. To grow into something beautiful. By His power alone. Becoming beautiful and fruitful. For Him.

"Growth is a natural result of being with God
and deeply connected to Him."

For He satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul,
He fills with good things.
(Psalm 107:9 NLT)

Monday, June 3, 2019

Slowing, Savoring, and Soaking Up the Sun

Spring brought the beauty of apple tree and peach tree blossoms, and our whole yard has been transformed into beautiful fresh shades of green. New life has sprung after the hard, cold winter.

The ground has been tilled, and the nutrients have been added to our veggie garden soil. This year we even have a new look to our veggie garden as my hubby put up an electric garden fence. The rabbits had a feast in our garden last summer, and we knew it was time to try a new approach. 

The patio planters have been mostly planted, though there are still a few to plant yet. I love all our pots of flowers, and last week I planted a few herbs: basil, parsley, and cilantro.

It's all been a process, in the midst of days of rain and also some cooler weather here and there. But now the months of April and May are past, and we're turning the page to a brand new month, and the season of summer!

And it has been the same with my heart ...

It is of crucial importance to tend to our hearts - to ask God to till up the soil of our hearts, to add the necessary nutrients for a new season of growth. I always long for new growth, for a freshness to come to my heart in the springtime. 

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
(Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

I've been aware of God's gentle tilling of my heart, adding blessed nutrients, and also weeding out the unnecessary and the harmful. It is a daily process. And I am thankful. 

And now, after the busyness that the spring months can bring with all the activity and all the celebrations, I'm reminded to pause, slow my pace, and just soak up His love and His grace. 

The new growth is beginning to pop up in our gardens and patio planters, and it's now a time of waiting; a time to be still, and soak up the sun. For it's in soaking up the sun and the rain that the beauty will appear. Over time. One day at a time.

And my heart needs the same. Summer calls me to still my heart, to just rest. To let my roots go down deep, soaking up the refreshing rains, and looking up to the Son.

"As you slow your pace,
savor God's Word,
and draw closer to God,
your soul will be fed."

"And when your soul 
is fed with God's love,
the overflow will 
pour out to others."

Lord, You are my rest, the source of all that I long for. May I pause, still my heart, and soak up Your Love this month of June. May I be as the veggie plants, the herbs, and the flowers - just resting, soaking up the life-giving rains and absorbing the energizing rays of the Son.

"You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for Your Word to renew me."
(Psalm 119:114 MSG)