Steel-Cut Granola & Overnight Oats

Not eating oatmeal? Well, you oat to be! That was incredibly lame, but I am such a sucker for puns! I won’t make you endure anymore, so please continue reading if I haven’t completely lost you already.

This week, I had the pleasure of writing for Catholic Women Run. The piece I wrote can be found here, but a synopsis of it includes focusing our food and fitness lifestyle around our faith. If you aren’t familiar with them, go check out their page, or even take a browse over at their Instagram! I love pages that encourage healthy lifestyles. It really is nice to see faith-minded women supporting each other in their health and fitness goals.

I wanted to feature an ingredient that can be used in several different ways. I have a thing for breakfast food, and something I am really loving lately is the many ways to eat oats! I eat both steel-cut and rolled oats, but today’s recipe focuses on steel-cut.

There is little to no difference in the nutrition between steel-cut and rolled oats, but rather the difference lies in their shape, mouth-feel, and how they are digested. They both contain biotin, manganese, and plenty of fiber! Rolled oats start as whole grain oats (groats) that are hulled, steamed, and rolled flat in order to be cooked faster (Old Fashioned oats, Quick Cook oats, Instant oats, etc). Steel-cut also start out as groats that are hulled, but instead of being steamed and rolled, they are simply sliced into 2-3 pieces by a steel blade, which gives them their pin-like appearance. Due to the lack of steaming and pressing, they are slower to digest and are given a lower glycemic index. This is better for staying fuller for longer periods of time, and preventing a sharp spike in blood sugar.

Rolled oats on the left. Steel-cut on the right.

I hope you enjoy these recipes! We eat them a lot and use oats in several of our breakfast foods. Both recipes are family friendly as well. My kids really enjoy the crunchy granola and chewy overnight oats!

Steel-Cut Granola

You will need:EditJar1

  • 3 cups of raw steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups of chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, (any light tasting oil is fine here- but try to keep it healthy)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 300*F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Combine oats, chopped nuts, cinnamon, and salt into one bowl. In a microwavable bowl, combine the applesauce, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Microwave it for 30 seconds on high until everything is melted together. You can also do this on low in a sauce pan. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated. DSC_0741DSC_0743DSC_0745DSC_0747DSC_0751DSC_0753

Spread mixture out onto a parchment lined sheet pan. If there are gaps that expose parchment paper, don’t stress. Everything will cook just the same if it is not perfectly spread out.

  • Bake at 300*F for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and flip with a spatula.
  • Bake again for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and flip with a spatula.
  • Bake again for 20 minutes.
  • Take out and give it a good flattening with a spatula or spoon. Walk away from it and don’t touch it for at least an hour.

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At the end of an hour, you can scoop the granola into a storage container or gallon freezer bag. If you like, you can also add in 1 cup of dried fruit and 1/2 cup of pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Your prerogative! I keep mine plain at this point because I like to mix it into parfaits layered with plain Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh fruit. I also like to eat it in a bowl with milk, or just snack on it straight from the bag.

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It is delightfully crunchy, slightly sweet, and nutritionally dense! If this is your first time experimenting with steel-cut oats, it doesn’t end here. You probably have quite a bit left in the bag or container you bought. I eat overnight oats several days a week for breakfast. Steel-cut oats give a much nicer texture than rolled oats in my opinion. They are satisfyingly chewy and are a breeze to make! Here’s what you do:

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

In a cup or bowl, add in 1/2 cup of raw steel-cut oats. Add in 1 1/2 cups of milk (whole, skim, almond, soy, coconut, etc). Add in 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1-2 tsp honey. Give it a good stir. Cover and put in the fridge at bed time. It needs to sit for 8-10 hours. In the morning, give it a 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. A side note- skim milk will absorb a lot more than a fattier milk. Add in 1/4 cup more if you are going to use skim.

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I hope you love these recipes! Let me know if you try them. I love feedback.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.

Psalms 118:24

 

 

Delightful Broccoli Salad. Emphasis on the light.

It is Saturday of Holy week. As we prepare for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we spend today in silence and contemplation. As busy as Easter can be for us, it’s good to take some time and reflect on what this holiday means. I did some Easter lunch prep today and spent some much needed time in silence. It is hard to get a moment of quiet around my house, but my kids were playing outside for a while and my husband was resting on the couch. It was nice!

I made this broccoli salad with a few changes. I wanted to lighten it up a bit. The original recipe I have is made with full-fat mayo, sour cream, and sugar. While the original recipe is delicious, I wanted to be more conscious of what I was adding to this beautiful vegetable without compromising the taste. I love broccoli salad, so I feel that this lightened up version does it justice. I hope you love this recipe.

Broccoli Salad

You will need:DSC_0817

  • 2 large heads of broccoli (about 5-6 cups), cut into florets, blanched & shocked
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 c light mayo (I use light olive-oil based mayo)
  • 1/4 c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c  red onion, or shallot, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

To start: if you don’t know what blanching and shocking is- here’s a quick tidbit. After you’ve cut your broccoli into florets, boil them for 1 minute (blanch). After 1 minute, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water (shock). The blanching helps the broccoli cook a little while turning it into a vibrant green (see the difference between photo 1 and 4 below?). Shocking it keeps it from cooking further so it will maintain its color and crunch. Drain the broccoli after it has completely cooled in the ice water. Lay it to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

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Now- for the dressing!

Grab a large bowl. This will be the bowl everything goes in, so make sure it is big. Add the light mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Give this a whisk. On top of that, add in the dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, diced red onion or shallot, and cheddar cheese. Add the broccoli on top. With a large spoon, gently mix the dressing in with the broccoli until everything is well combined.

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Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1-2 hours (or overnight). This is a great dish to make the night before. It sits will in the refrigerator, and I personally like for it to have time to hang out before serving. The flavor gets better! However, if you are in a rush and need something that day- a couple hours in the fridge will yield a delicious broccoli salad.

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I hope you and your family have a Happy Easter. We will be attending Mass, hunting eggs, and enjoying a big lunch together with friends. My menu includes a glazed ham, potatoes au gratin, roasted squash and zucchini, and this broccoli salad. There will be dessert too (our friends are bringing lemon bars and we made some homemade ice cream).

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.'”

Mk 16: 1-7

Brussels Sprouts: The underdog of vegetables.

My kids must be made of some fairy dust because their favorite vegetable is roasted Brussels sprouts. Seriously. It’s funny because my own dad can’t stand them and won’t touch them. If you’re like my dad, but you’re willing to give them a second chance, follow this recipe exactly and you will not be disappointed!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

You will need: DSC_0736

  • 12-15  Brussels sprouts, cut in half (I try and aim for 7-8 halves per adult, and 4-5 halves for kiddos. 15 will give you 30 halves, so just add more or take away some according to your family size)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400*F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper, either will work. Cut the fibrous stem off of each Brussels sprout and discard. Then, cut each sprout  in half. Some of their leaves will fall away, and that’s fine. They end up roasting into super crunchy bits anyway, so throw them in to cook as well. Toss all of the sprouts onto the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix around with your hands until everything is coated evenly. Roast for 25 minutes at 400*F.

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After the time is up, they should be golden to dark brown. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top as soon as they come out. Serve alongside whatever you wish! We had them with steak and roasted red potatoes. I am guilty of eating all of the excess crunchy leaves that fell away during the preparation process. I wish they came in a bag like chips…

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These are simple to make and always a hit with us. I have turned a few of my friends onto Brussels sprouts after making them this way. A little side note- any green veggie does great with just olive oil, salt, and pepper with a 25-30 minute roast at 400*F. If you want to dress them up- add the Parmesan! If you try this out, please let me know. Don’t be afraid to try them… they are delicious (and pretty darn good for you too!)

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As we go deeper into Holy Week, I can’t help but reflect on what a crazy Lenten season this has been for our family. Lent always seems to throw us into a storm, but we end up coming out of it renewed. As with all struggles, we are to give them to God and pray for patience, understanding, and most of all-trust.

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.

 

Salmon Patties

I grew up eating salmon patties quite often. My dad would make them and they were always a hit. They are not only delicious, but they go with just about every side you can think of. We live in fish taco country here in the San Diego area, so by the time Lent rolls around- we are looking for something new to satisfy our Fish Friday needs. I hope you love this easy, fast, and delicious recipe as much as we do! Enjoy.

Salmon Patties

You will need:DSC_0656

  • 20 oz of canned boneless and skinless salmon (Chicken of the Sea is the brand I prefer. I buy 4 of their 5oz cans. Pouches work great too!)
  • 1 cup of Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • fresh lemon for serving
  • 10 inch cast iron or non-stick skillet (if you have a bigger skillet, you will need a bit more oil. The oil should cover the entire bottom of the skillet)

To start, drain almost all of the liquid from the canned salmon. Reserve 2 tbsp of the liquid in the bowl you will use to mix everything. Empty each can of salmon into the bowl. Pour the 1 cup of bread crumbs in over the salmon. Crack two whole eggs in, and finish with the salt and pepper. Use a spoon, or your hands (my preferred method), to mix everything around.

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Preheat your cast iron or non-stick skillet with the 1/4 cup of canola oil over med-high heat. Once all of the ingredients are mixed, go ahead and form it into patties. The mixture will be sort of wet and crumbly, but use your hands and gentle pressure to form them into circular patties. Once formed, place them onto a flat surface and let them rest while the oil heats. You should get 8 medium sized patties out of this mixture.

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Once the oil is heated through, gently lay four patties down to cook. The oil should sizzle enough to cook them, but not be so hot that it sputters and smokes. The patties will cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. When you are ready to flip them, make sure you have a firm spatula and are careful not to break the patty. Once golden on each side, set on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. These are cooked quickly and at a shallow depth, so they are never greasy or heavy.

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Once all the patties are cooked, serve them on a plate alongside a slice of lemon. We like to eat ours with a side of roasted or steamed veggies. We typically have 2 patties per adult, and 1 per child. I grew up eating mine with ketchup, so that is how I like to eat mine, but I have also had them with tartar sauce, creamy dill sauce, and even A1 sauce! Whatever works for you.

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Today is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. This Friday is Good Friday and a fasting day. This recipe is one you should consider for your primary meal. It is filling, nutritious, and also meatless! If you do make this, please let me know what you think. It is budget friendly and really is a huge hit among kids and adults.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to my husband and I via text, Facebook, and Instagram with your prayers, well-wishes, and kind thoughts regarding our son’s diagnosis. It means the world to us to have such an amazing support system. We really do appreciate the time you took to share kindness with us.

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already- give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard
that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out:
“Hosanna!
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the king of Israel.”

John 12: 12-13

A Hug & Banana Bread

This week, my husband and I were delivered some news that rearranged our lives quite a bit. Our son was diagnosed with Down syndrome. I am twenty weeks along as of today, and this was not how I expected this healthy pregnancy to go. If you want to read more, you can look at the post I wrote on my IG page @thecatholickitchen.

After the initial shock of the diagnosis, I calmed down, hugged my family, prayed for resilience, and sought comfort. As I have mentioned over and over again- cooking makes me happy and it eases my mind. I had a lot of extra bananas hanging out that were nearing their end, so I decided to whip up some of the best banana bread ever. I hope you love it!

Banana Bread

You will need:DSC_0594

  • 4-5 over-ripened bananas
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c brown sugar (I use 3/4 c white sugar + 1 tbsp molasses. I never keep brown sugar, but I always have those two ingredients)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, mash bananas until they are soft and lumpy. Add in the melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Combine until well incorporated. It should look like a thin and lumpy brown batter at this point. Add in the 2 cups of flour all at once. Mix until just incorporated. It will be like a lumpy cake mix at this point. Do not over mix or the banana bread will come out very dense.

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Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350*F. Once it is done, turn out onto a dish towel or clean surface to cool. The top will be nice and crusty, and the inside will be just delicious. This is a very easy banana bread recipe, and it does not require anything fancy to taste good. I do not add cinnamon, nuts, or vanilla. Trust me on this- this recipe does not need any of the above.

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You can serve this right away, or store it wrapped in a dish towel or in a bag or container. This won’t last long, so I don’t estimate it needing to be stored for longer than a day or two (just from personal experience).

For my family, we love to cut off a slice eat it as is, or pop it in the toaster for some extra toasty goodness. Other days when we are feeling decadent, we will make banana bread french toast topped with a little maple syrup. Warning: there is no going back if you try this. It will become a staple breakfast in your house! If you do venture into the banana bread french toast world, I will include the recipe below.

I hope this recipe makes you and your family happy. It definitely cheered me up after a morning of tears and angst. Please pray for our family as we go on this journey together.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

 

 

Banana Bread French Toast

Heat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Combine 6 eggs, 3 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl. Beat well until everything is combined.  Slice off 1 inch thick slices of banana bread (We do 2 per adult, and 1 per little kid). Dip into the batter until both sides are covered. Melt 1 tbsp of butter into the skillet and cook each slice of banana bread until both sides are golden brown. Top with a light drizzle of maple syrup and serve alongside scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, and fresh fruit. Enjoy 🙂

Comfort Classic: Chicken & Dumplings

Today is the feast day of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. If you haven’t read their story, I urge you to do so. You can find it here. As a mother, it is a tough story to read. They were both incredibly brave and held strong in their faith to the very end. Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us!

As we move along to the topic of this post, I should mention I am from Texas. Specifically, I am from East Texas, which may as well be an entirely independent state of its own. We eat a lot of comfort food predominately found in the south. I enjoy cooking this way on cold and rainy days, or when we are feeding a crowd. This dish reminds me of my family there. My Nana & Pawpaw love it, and my sister Morgan and I cooked it together several years ago. Chicken & Dumplings holds a special place in my heart, as you can tell.

Chicken & Dumplings

You will need:DSC_0441

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, pulled apart with the skin discarded
  • 2 cups of milk (we drink skim, so that is what I used. Any fat % will work)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
    • For the dumplings:
      • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup of lukewarm water
      • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
      • 1 tbsp baking powder
      • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Set a large pot or dutch oven over med heat. Melt 2 tbsp of butter. Sprinkle in 2 tbsp of flour and whisk until it is combined. This is a roux, and this will thicken the liquid. Cook this over med heat for 3-5 minutes while stirring frequently.

Once the roux has cooked for 3-5 minutes, warm the 2 cups of milk in the microwave or over the stove top until it is just warmed through. Pour over the roux slowly while whisking. Whisk this until the roux and milk have totally combined. Let this mixture cook over med heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5-7 minutes). Make sure to stir it frequently.

Once the liquid has thickened, add in the 4 cups of chicken broth, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Give it a good stir. Add in the chicken and put the lid on. Crank the heat to med-high. Let this hang out while you prepare the dumplings.

To prepare the dumplings, make a mental note that your hands are about to get quite sticky. Homemade dumplings are the way to go, so if you have a thing about dirty hands- go ahead and grab some gloves 🙂

In a bowl, add the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt. Give it a good stir. Next, add in the 1 cup of lukewarm water and 2 tbsp of vegetable or canola oil. Combine with your hands until it is all mixed together. Pinch a small piece of dough from the mixture and drop it directly into the pot. It will float, and this is okay. Repeat this process until all of the dough is in the pot. I make my dumplings between the size of a quarter and silver dollar. Not too big, not too small. Once all of the dough is in the pot, give it a gentle stir and put the lid on. Lower the heat back to medium. Set a timer for 20 minutes and walk away!

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Once the 20 minutes are up, uncover the pot and give everything a good stir. The dumplings will look smooth and soft on the outside. The inside will be cooked through and ready to eat.

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Ladle the chicken & dumplings into a bowl, and eat! My kids LOVE this dish. I call it biscuit soup because they don’t fully grasp what a dumpling is, so I compare it to a biscuit and they are instantly excited. Kids are easy to please….most days.

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I really hope you enjoy this recipe. I love cooking it for family and friends. Even if you don’t think you like chicken and dumplings, give my recipe a try. I have encountered several people who grew up with a not-so-good recipe they were forced to eat… and once they tried this one, they were hooked! It is light, comforting, and filling all at the same time.

As always, thank you for your support! If you try any of my recipes, I would love some feedback.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Perpetua’s answer was simple and clear. Pointing to a water jug, she asked her father, “See that pot lying there? Can you call it by any other name than what it is?”

Her father answered, “Of course not.” Perpetua responded, “Neither can I call myself by any other name than what I am — a Christian.”

 

Effortless Boiled Eggs

Have you ever boiled an egg and the yolk turned dry and green? Or you tried to peel it and the whole egg white came off with the shell? Cooking eggs is something that is supposed to be so easy, when in fact, it is actually quite difficult. I got pretty tired of ripping my eggs apart during the peeling process, or having a severely overcooked yolk, so I fixed the issue. I am happy to say- I have discovered the perfect way to boil eggs with a shell that’s easy to peel. I hope this works for you as well as it does for me! Enjoy.

Effortless Boiled Eggs

You will need:DSC_0348

  • 1 dozen raw eggs
  • 1 medium pot
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • 1 tray of ice cubes (or 1-2 cups of ice from a dispenser)

Line the bottom of your pot with the eggs. Each egg should have its own place and not be stacked on top of another egg. Fill the pot with water until the water line is just covering each egg. The less they bounce around, the better. DSC_0352DSC_0356Put the pot with the eggs and water onto a burner. Bring the water to a boil and let it boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit there as is for 20 minutes. Do not move the pot or touch the eggs. Just let them sit peacefully. Walk away. Set a timer. Ignore them. Once the timer goes off, fill a bowl with cool water and dump the ice in. Place each egg in the ice bath with a large spoon, or you can *carefully* pour off the water from the pot into the sink and put the ice water in there on top of the eggs. Up to you. Let the eggs hang out in the cold water for 3-5 minutes. DSC_0362DSC_0366Once the 3-5 minutes are up, you can begin to peel them. The best way I have found is to gently tap each end of the egg until it cracks, and then make smaller taps around the egg. I give it a gentle hug with my hand until the whole shell has kind of loosened itself from the egg. Peel the shell off slowly. It should start to come off in large chunks, or even in ribbons. DSC_0368DSC_0371Make your way through the eggs and give them all a peel. I usually end up eating one or two as I go. I love boiled eggs, and so do my kids (and dogs). They should all come out looking pretty round and smooth, and the yolk should be a nice yellow color and soft to the touch. You can store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

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I hope you enjoy this helpful recipe. I know it may not seem like much of a big deal, but if you have struggled with cooking and peeling boiled eggs before- you are not alone, and I’ve got you covered.

It is the 3rd Friday during Lent. I pray you are holding strong to your Lenten commitments. I can honestly say I have not eaten any fast food since before Ash Wednesday. I am super proud of myself, and I feel a renewed sense of self-control. Take care of your spiritual life, and seek others who are like-minded to help you along the journey. There is nothing better than a community of people who live for God by your side.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Hosea 14:10