Apple Cider

I am excited to share this recipe with you! I love apple cider and I really can’t believe it turned out so well. I love this season and I really enjoy making different foods this time of year. Anything to bring my family together is good to me! I hope you love this recipe.

Apple Cider (Instant Pot & Slow Cooker)


You will need:

  • 6-8 medium apples, cored and sliced (leave the peel on) You can use whatever apples you have on hand. This equals ~2 lbs of apples. The bruised ones work well here too. They’re going to be cooked to a pulp- so go ahead and throw them in!
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of honey (you can use sugar here as well, but I prefer honey)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 3 large cinnamon sticks, or 5-6 small cinnamon sticks, or 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (or 2 whole cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • wire mesh strainer
  • storage container or pitcher
  • Instant pot (I will also add slow cooker instructions as well)

Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot or slow cooker bowl. Give everything a good stir making sure that the honey is not sticking to the bottom.


Set the Instant Pot to high pressure, seal it, and cook for 10 minutes. Let it release naturally. If you are using a slow cooker, cook this on low for 6-8 hours.

Once the time is up, run everything through a fine mesh strainer and pour into whatever storage container you have chosen. (Save the apples and cinnamon sticks. You can make apple butter with this!) Pop it in the fridge and drink it within 1 week. I like to drink mine hot. Feel free to warm it up in the microwave or in a pan over the stove.


I hope you give this a try. Apple Cider is incredibly easy to make (and much cheaper to do it yourself!). This time of year gets expensive when we start planning for all of the holidays, so go ahead and save yourself a couple of bucks by making things at home.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Matthew 11:25




Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simply put, I just wanted to make something sweet to share on this beautiful Palm Sunday.

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies


You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 4oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup canola, vegetable, or light olive oil.
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the stick of butter and let it bubble until it just starts to brown. I highly advise that you watch it like a newborn baby. Once it is lightly browned, pour off into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla.  Mix this well until it is combined. Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir until almost combined. Pour in the slightly cooled brown butter. Stir everything around until it is all combined. The batter will be sticky and dark and it should smell like toffee. Try your best not to eat it.

These will spread out, so put 6 scoops of dough on each sheet pan. Put one pan in the fridge and the other in the oven. Set a timer for 13 minutes. Around minute 8, you will see the cookies get really puffy. Around minute 12, they will begin to collapse. Once all of the cookies have mostly collapsed and they are a rich golden brown, remove the pan from the oven and set aside to start cooling. Go ahead and put the other pan in the oven.

Once your cookies have settled and become sturdy enough to handle with a spatula, transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. If they are not sturdy enough to move, let them rest on the pan for another couple of minutes.

These cookies will be crispy on the outside with a soft and chewy center. They will have a sweet and salty toffee flavor with bits of chocolate throughout. I think you will love these. They taste amazing and they will make your house smell pretty wonderful.


I am praying for all of you during this Holy Week. May God bless you and keep you always.

Lots of love and many blessings,


The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:4-7

Stovetop Popcorn

My family and I gave up fast food for Lent. It has actually been great. I don’t find myself craving it or thinking about it when I don’t feel like making dinner. It has also made me realize that I can make better treats at home for things like movie night and times where we just feel like playing all day with fun snacks.

My best friend tagged me in a post on homemade popcorn. We both agreed that making it would be on our agenda! I remember having this a couple of times when I was younger and thinking that it tasted so much better than the bagged stuff. I hope you love this recipe and I encourage you to try making it for your next family movie night. It is simple and really inexpensive. Not to mention, your kids and friends will probably think you are really cool for making popcorn.

Stovetop Popcorn


You will need:

  • 3/4 c popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 c canola or peanut oil (you want an oil with a high smoke point here- so do not use butter, coconut oil, or olive oil)
  • salt and melted butter to taste (or whatever popcorn seasoning you like!)

Set a heavy bottomed pot (4qt or more) on the stovetop. Add in 1/4 cup of oil to the cold pan and drop in 2-3 kernels. Turn the heat to high and putthe lid on. Once those kernels pop, add in the remaining kernels all at once. Put the lid on and give it a good shake. Once the kernels begin to rapidly pop, turn the heat down to medium and let it go! Give it a good shake every 30 seconds or so. Once the pops space out to every 3-4 seconds, turn it down to low until it finishes popping. Remember to continue to shake it every 20-30 seconds. When you don’t hear the pops anymore, immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Season the popcorn how you like and enjoy! My 2 year old couldn’t resist while I was taking photos. She stuck her grubby little hands into the pan multiple times.


Lots of love and many blessings,


Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

Psalms 23:5-6

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

Breakfast food is one of my favorite food categories. I prefer to make breakfast for dinner due to my serious lack of morning enthusiasm. I was not created with a morning “go to!” attitude…. therefore,  I don’t usually have the internal fortitude to cook a full meal before 8:00 AM. I lean toward plenty of coffee, cereal, oats, toast, etc. My kids prefer when my husband is here because he will get up and make an eight course breakfast for them (thank you God for a husband who is a morning person!). Here is a recipe for overnight oats. These are always delicious and my kids love them too! You can make these the night before in a coffee cup, mason jar, or a bowl. I hope you love this recipe!

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats


You will need (per person):

  • 1/2 c of raw steel-cut oats
  • 1 1/4 c milk  (if you are using fat free, add an additional 1/4 c)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a cup or bowl, add in the steel-cut oats, milk, cinnamon, and honey. Give it a big stir. A side note- fat-free milk will absorb a lot more than a fattier milk. Add in 1/4 cup more if you are going the fat-free route. Cover with plastic wrap or a paper towel and place in the fridge for 8 hours.

In the morning, give it a big stir and eat it with a spoon (like cereal). There should be liquid still hanging around. If not, give it a little splash before eating. These are delightfully chewy and have a wonderful mouth feel.


I hope you love this recipe!

Lots of love and many blessings.


Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
they never cease to praise you.

Psalms 84:5


Panko Crusted Chili and Ginger Salmon

Happy Feast day of St. Joseph! I wanted to do something special for this day as St. Joseph was a hard working carpenter and a great example for men to look up to. St. Joseph loved God and honored him by loving Jesus as his own son. This meal is centered around two ingredients that are quite symbolic: fish and breadcrumbs.

If there is a meal other than bread that makes me think of Jesus…it is one that includes fish! There are plenty of references in the bible when it comes to fish, so I deemed this appropriate. The other ingredient, breadcrumbs, symbolize the sawdust that would be found in St. Joseph’s work area. This is a popular choice in Italian cuisine as well.

This recipe is one that I don’t make often, but when I do, it is loved by everyone who eats it. The salmon is brushed with a sweet chili and ginger marinade and then coated with a panko and herb crust. I think you will enjoy this!

Panko Crusted Chili and Ginger Salmon


You will need:

  • 4-6 skinless salmon filets (you can also use one large salmon filet. Up to you!)
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp sweet red chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated  (you want it to be a fine pulp)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Canola or olive oil spray

Preheat your oven to 375*F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lay the salmon filets on the sheet and lightly salt each one.

In a bowl, combine the red chili sauce, soy sauce, and ginger. Give it a stir and brush onto each salmon filet. You want to generously coat each one (be sure to get the sides, too!)

In another bowl, add in the panko, green onions, cilantro, and sesame oil. Give it a big stir. Using your hands, put a generous amount on each salmon filet. Lightly press down to ensure the panko is sticking to the sauce.

Lightly spray the panko topping with canola or olive oil. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the panko is light golden brown.

Serve over jasmine rice and enjoy with a side salad or fresh vegetables.


I hope you love this recipe! It is delicious, quick, and always tasty.

Lots of love and many blessings,


The Call of the First Disciples.

18 As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. 19 He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 4: 18-22





Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

It is Monday! Thanks be to God for another beautiful week. The weather has warmed up around here and I am really looking forward to more outdoor park days with my kiddos.

My sister asked me to write a recipe with polenta. She has been wanting to make it and I have had the urge to braise some short ribs lately. I figured I would put them together and see how it goes. I am happy to report that it was a hit! My kids were licking their fingers and I went back for seconds. I hope you love this recipe!

Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta


You will need:

For the short ribs:

  • 4 boneless short ribs, cut into thirds (or 6-8 bone in short ribs)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 c red wine (I use Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 2 c beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

For the polenta:

  • 1 c polenta
  • 4 c chicken broth (you can use water here, but the broth adds better flavor)
  • 1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Preheat your oven to 300*F.

Put a shallow braising dish over med-high heat and let it get hot. Off to the side, season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Dust each piece with flour. Pour the canola oil into the braising pan and sear the short ribs on all sides until dark brown. This crust will add excellent flavor!

Once all of the short ribs have browned, turn the heat down to medium and move the short ribs to a bowl. Set to the side.

Saute the onions in the leftover oil and fat from the short ribs until they are lightly browned (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the tomato paste and stir around until it is bubbly. Add in the garlic cloves. Stir everything together and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Bring the heat back up to med high until everything is really starting to sizzle. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. These brown bits are called fond. They will flavor the braising liquid beautifully!

Once you have released all of the fond, turn the heat back to high and reduce the wine until it is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon. It will look like a gravy. Once it has thickened, add in the beef broth, dried seasonings, and bay leaves. Give it a big stir and bring to a boil.

Nestle the short ribs into the simmering braising liquid, cover, and put in the oven for 1.5 hours.

When your timer says you have 40 minutes left, go ahead and start prepping the polenta.

Bring the chicken broth up to a boil. Add in 1 cup of polenta and stir. Lower the heat and stir until it thickens but is still pretty loose. Cover, turn the heat to low, and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Stir it every 5-6 minutes.

Once the time is up, add in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.

Spoon the polenta onto a plate, pile on the short ribs, and drizzle with the braising liquid. Enjoy each savory and creamy bite! I know we did.


I hope you love this recipe. It is incredibly satisfying, and one that will please the whole family.

Lots of love and many blessings,


Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

Luke 6: 36-38



Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope you get to spend time with your friends and family. I am doing a bit of recipe testing this week and I decided to start it off with a sweet sweet bang. It is a feast day today, so it only seemed appropriate! Chocoflan is a sort of “magic” dessert. I say this because you start by putting the chocolate cake better on the bottom, followed by the flan batter, and while it cooks- they switch places. Pretty cool!

This recipe is one that I have changed over time. I found a recipe many years ago that I saw on Food Network. I tried it and while I looooved the flan portion of it, I was not too crazy about the chocolate cake recipe. I hope you love this one! My tip: make this at night and let it cool in the fridge until morning. It will be that much better!



You will need:

  • For the cake:
    • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 3/4 c AP flour
    • 1/2 c cocoa powder
    • 1 c sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk (or *just under* 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar)
      • you can also use sour cream or Greek yogurt here instead.
    • 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup strong coffee (or 2 tsp instant espresso powder + 1/2 c water)
    • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the flan:
    • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
    • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
    • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla
    • caramel sauce or Cajeta
    • chopped pecans (totally optional)

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Prepare a 10-12 cup capacity bundt pan by placing it inside of a roasting pan. Spray the bundt pan with nonstick spray, or coat it with butter. Drizzle a bit of caramel sauce into the bottom.

For the cake, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy using a hand or stand mixer (about 2 minutes). Add in the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, and coffee. Mix until combined. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and smooth it out.

For the flan, combine all of the ingredients in to a blender. Blend until smooth. Gently pour over the cake batter. It’s okay if they mix a little- they will separate when baking.

Cover the bundt pan with foil. Pour 1 inch of boiling water into the roasting pan. Carefully put the roasting pain in the oven. Bake for 1h 15m until a toothpick comes out clean, or with moist crumb only, when inserted into the chocolate cake.

Remove the bundt pan from the roasting pan and let it cool for 1 hour at room temp. Once it is cool enough to handle, give it a light jiggle and carefully invert it on a large plate or round serving platter. Put it in the fridge to cool overnight. It will firm up nicely and be that much better the next day.

When you are ready to serve, slice it and drizzle more caramel sauce over it. If you like, add a generous sprinkling of chopped pecans to it.


This dessert is ALWAYS a hit wherever I take it. You can also pre-slice and garnish it for parties or gatherings.

I hope you love this recipe.

Lots of love and many blessings,


St. Patrick’s Lorica

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.