Monday, August 1, 2016

A New Part of the Journey

You guys!!!!  Today I went live on my NEW WEBSITE! It's not perfect.  Actually, it doesn't look much different than this blog.  YET.  But it will.  And I have great things in store!!  Come see me at www.kendracutsinger.com.  I hope you will join me in the journey!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Life Lessons From The Garden


Last week, I came home from a surprise trip with my husband to find that weeds and grass had COMPLETELY overtaken my garden.  As I started to pull the weeds and try to reclaim my garden, I mulled over the many lessons I could potential learn from this scenario that I now found myself in.  I settled on two and thought I would share them with you!

Lesson #1: Don't put off until  tomorrow what you need to do today.  

Now, I know that this is not an original thought.  I am not the first to learn this lesson.  Nor will I be the last.  And this is most definitely not the first time that I have had to learn this lesson.  A couple of weeks ago, I had been putting off some major weeding in my garden because I thought I would have time later.  Then I was whisked away on a surprise trip ~ which I'm NOT complaining about ~ and the opportunity I thought I would have 'later' never came.  I came back to triple the work, and after several days of working in the morning and evening (and with the help of my boys), I've managed to reclaim about half of the garden.  

Lesson #2: What might be considered good on the one hand might not be so good on the other.  

What am I talking about?? Well, it all depends on perspective. I want grass to grow in my lawn. However, the minute that the grass starts to grow in my garden it becomes my nemesis and I am constantly doing battle with it.  Grass is wanted and considered good while growing in my lawn.  But that same good thing, in a different set of circumstances, is no longer considered good. 

What do either of these lessons have to do with you? I encourage  you to do some self examination and ask yourself a few questions.  One, what are the 'weeds' in your life?  Are there things in your life that are or were good things, but are perhaps choking out the BEST things in your life? I've found that there are often seasons of life, of friendship, and of activity.  What might have once been a fruitful area of life may not be anymore.  And, secondly, what are you putting off until tomorrow that should be done today? I'm not necessarily talking about work ~ what about relationships? Who do you need to reach out to today? Who has been on your mind, but you just haven't taken the time to make that phone call or send that message?

The opportunities could pass, the BEST could get choked out by the good, and then you might look back and wish that you had done something differently.  Now, I know that hindsight is always 20/20.  And none of us are going to perfectly lead the life that we hope for and dream of.  But let's embrace to opportunity that we have TODAY to work hard and love well!

Blessings to you~Kendra

Monday, May 30, 2016

Blue Apron: Why I love it...and why it's not for me

     Recently, a sweet friend of mine, who has used Blue Apron meal services for awhile, asked if I would like to try it out for free. Apparently, after using their meal services for awhile, you can receive "free meals" to give to a friend.   Never being one to turn down good food, or the opportunity to cook something new, I was game! It was very easy to set up an account and schedule my first delivery. I did choose to do a 2 person menu, for the sake of keeping my trial run completely free.  (If I had chosen a 4 person family menu, then I would have had to pay extra.)
     In just over a week, this super fun box was delivered! When I opened it up, there were my three recipes for the week, along with some extra information on one of the ingredients, and prepackaged, well-labeled ingredients for each meal.  I have to admit, I was impressed with the packing, and for their system on keeping the food, which included uncooked meat, appropriately cold and fresh. 


     The first meal I cooked was this Roasted Chicken & Verjus Pan Sauce with Mashed Potatoes, Mushrooms, and Kale. I absolutely loved the full color recipes with a 'fun fact' about a component of the meal, plus step by step instructions on how to prepare the meal.  Even someone with a very limited knowledge on food prep could prepare a gourmet meal following these recipes!




     The finished product turned out much like the pictures on the recipe card, which is always fun! I do need to work on my food photography skills, though! The meal was tasty, with the exception that the potatoes were a bit dry and could have used some more butter or milk.  



     The second meal that I cooked was this Green Shakshuka with Eight Ball Squash and Spiced Pita Chips! I had been wanting to try a traditional shakshuka, which is usually based on a red sauce and served for breakfast. This recipe used tomatillos instead of regular tomatoes, which gave it the green color, and also a little extra zip. To say that I was excited to try this recipe out would be an understatement! Once again, the recipe was very easy to follow.  And though this one was a bit more involved, the end result was worth the effort! OH MY GOODNESS!! It was delicious!! 


     My picture isn't quite a pretty as the one on the recipe card, but don't let looks fool you.  This was amazing! We dipped the Spiced Pita Chips into the Shakshuka and ate it that way.  Yum! A side note about the Za'atar spice.  I've cooked with Za'atar before, but the mix that came with this recipe was so much better than what I had previously used.  I might just have to find something similar to it!! 


     I was out of town when my husband cooked the third meal, so I have no pictures and I did not personally try it.  He said that it was good, so I'll trust him on that one.  :)

     I love Blue Apron's mission, which is to make incredible home cooking available to everyone.  So many people have never really learned to cook.  This meal service makes it completely possible to learn how to cook, to experience new tastes, and to bring back something that I am passionate about, which is to sit down together as a family, or with friends, to share a meal at home.
      I personally love to cook and to try new recipes and cooking techniques.  And, as a family, we eat most of our meals at home.  So, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate different tastes and experiences into our eating habits.  I'm also up for trying new ways to plan our meals out for the week.  From this standpoint, Blue Apron did not disappoint.  Why, then, is it not for me? For no other reason than my food budget.  For the cost of three weekly meals through Blue Apron for my family of four, I can get a good portion of my groceries for the entire week.  
     That said, I can think of so many reasons why you should try out Blue ApronIf you are wanting to learn more about the basics of cooking, then this is definitely something that you need to try out. If you enjoy trying new foods, but don't want to pay to go out to eat, this could definitely be an option for you. I would even say that this would make a great gift for someone who loves to cook, or for newlyweds just starting out. If you are curious, it's worth a shot! Try something new today!!

Note: Blue Apron offers wine pairings with it's meals, which would be nice for learning more about wines and how to pair them well with meals.  They also have a marketplace, where you can buy the essentials for your kitchen.  

*I received no compensation of any kind for this review. It is my personal opinion. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Tuesday Review: Go For NO!


 A good friend of mine recently lent me the book, Go For No! And I am SO grateful! I don't know about you, but "NO" has always been a hard word for me to hear.  And fear of failure has been crippling to me at times. Now that I'm in a business where I get the response of "NO" often, and the sense of failure looms at times, I've had to overcome some major fears and expectations when it comes to this word.  

If you are wanting to overcome your fears of failure, or better yet, COMPLETELY SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE on failure, then this is the book for you! The principles in this short, easy to read book, apply to all aspects of life --not just business-- and I HIGHLY recommend it to you! 

If I'm going to fail, I want to fail in BIG ways, while pursuing BIG DREAMS! 

Blessings~ Kendra

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Listen

     

     I don't know about you, but I need a wisdom that doesn't come from me.  I need insight and discernment that can only come from God.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2 that "...the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us."  I need understanding that can only come from the Spirit! 

     Sometimes this understanding and insight comes specifically through the scriptures, God's inspired word. Other times it comes through prayer and time spent alone in quiet with God.  And it even comes through the gentle admonishment from a friend or trusted loved one.  Over the years, I've noticed that for me personally, when God really wants to get my attention about something, a certain theme or word will come up continually, in all different areas of my life.  Over the past week or two, this has been happening.  A very specific word keeps coming up in my life.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Day in the Life

     No two days are quite the same for us.  Part of that has to do with the fact that we educate at home. But sometimes, that's just how life goes. I thought it would be fun to pick a day to document throughout and just see what happens.  *As a side note, I'm always taking pictures.  Before smart phones, I almost always had my 'nice' camera around my neck.  These days, I don't feel like I take as many 'good' quality images as I used to.  But I do capture things that I never used to, and there is a fun sense of whimsy that comes with using my phone to take pictures. :)

     My day usually starts early, with prayer and study time.  And then it's time to let Rox dog, our Labrador, out.  She usually stays close to me while it's still dark, but once it gets light out, she makes sure to remind me to take care of her. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

For Freedom



     If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you might have seen my post yesterday about how these past couple of days of the IF:Equip I Believe study over on the IF:Gathering App and at www.ifequip.com are pivotal to my faith.  All that I believe when it comes to my faith rests on whether or not I believe that Jesus, who became God in the Flesh, came to earth, lived a sinless life among us, was crucified for my sins, died, was raised to life again on the third day, lives today, and is coming back one day! If I don't believe this core truth, then my faith is dead.  Pointless. Paul says it best in 1 Corinthians 15:17, "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." But thankfully, THANKFULLY!!!, Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.  I am eternally grateful! Literally!!