Shrimp and Mango Salad

shrimp and mango salad5

Good Morning Y’all.  I thought this little recipe would be appropriated for today,  seeing as how, I’m at the beach enjoying all the fresh seafood. I don’t go to the beach to go to the beach….I go to the beach for…seafood. Breathing the fresh salt air and browsing antique shops are a close second. Last week while daydreaming about all the wonderful seafood that was awaiting our arrival, I made this Mango and Shrimp Salad to get in the spirit of the trip.

shrimp mango salad ingr

I won’t take up  your time talking about all the delicious places I’ll be eating….I’ll just pass along this wonderful and simple recipe.

shrimp and mango salad2

Begin with 2-3 pounds of raw shrimp.  Bring  a pot of salted water to a boil and toss in the shrimp.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a colander to drain. Then put shrimp into a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel shrimp and chop.

Chop 1/2 cup of purple onion, 1/2 cup of peeled and seeded cucumber,  1/4 cup chopped celery, 1-2 peeled and chopped mangoes. Reserve some to garnish. Add chopped shrimp. Toss with 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise, juice of one lime and 1/2 teaspoon Dill weed. Salt and pepper to taste. Dust with more dill weed…my favorite spice.  Garnish with mango and lime slices, dill or parsley. Serve  on lettuce or spinach with rolls or crackers. It is also makes a great flour/spinach tortilla wrap.

shrimp and mango salad1

See how simple that was? Enjoy!

The Perfect Find

The Perfect Find

Last Summer, while on vacation,  my husband and I found this perfect little table. I’d been looking for a small table for our porch.  We have a large table that we use regularly, but I had it in my mind that a small one would be quaint and perfect for intimate little candlelight dinners. And so I’d been looking for one for the corner of the porch, for just the two of us. This little table was just what I had in mind.  My husband said fine and it was mine. I’d worry about chairs later.

I spent most of the year searching Craig’s List and yard sales and auctions for iron chairs, to no avail.  I wanted something old and heavy to go with the  old and heavy table.  Then about a month ago,  I saw pictures of an iron table with four chairs advertised for estate sale on Facebook. It was the perfect find.

We were up bright and early the morning of the sale and arrived in time to snag the iron table and chairs. I only needed the chairs but the table came with it and so we bought the set.

new table ad chairs

The seats had wooden bottoms that had to be removed because they  had rotted in the weather.  Even though our porch is covered…rain still blows in…and so we had iron slats welded into the bottoms of all the chairs for cushions.

chair seats

Then, after we decided to buy the whole set,  I turned around and saw the most perfect chairs, ever, for my lonely table, from last Summer. There were only 3. It didn’t matter. I bought the whole she-bang and crammed them all into my car and came back to town with my most perfect find. Another table and 7 chairs! And I hadn’t planned on it, but,  I found room for another table and chairs on the porch…

three chairs

My husband gave everything a sanding to get the rough places off and make everything smooth. I didn’t want to snag anyones clothes. I also didn’t want to paint it. I love the old look. I’d take something old over something new any day. They look like they came from my grandmother’s house. So we left it all very chippy.

chippy leaves

We only painted the new iron slats on the seats,  so they wouldn’t rust.

chippy back

theperfect find pt2

I ended up with more than just a table for two….There’s room enough for a whole dinner party.  :) I like that.

the perfect find3

Y’all excuse me, please,  while I plan my menu…..

Heal Our Land

American Flag In Front Of An Old Church

The Creator of all things has made a promised based on a condition. This isn’t something He does very often. In fact, right off the top of my head, I can only think of a few other passage where He says do this and I’ll do that….One’s in Malachi when he says to bring the tithe into the storehouse and see if I won’t open the windows of Heaven and pour out such a blessing you can’t contain it. But this scripture has national consequences.  Consequences that will affect future generations. Our children and grandchildren will directly benefit if we pray for God to heal our land. But there are conditions.

You may be like me and believe that The United States and all our leaders need to get on the right track with God or we’re all doomed. It’s easy to be discouraged and think we have condoned sin for so long that God is not interested in saving us from the coming judgement. Our country is just too far gone.  It’s enough to get down right depressed about. But looking at this scripture again, in light of the whole Bible and what we know of the character of God, it should give us hope.

First of all….in this passage, in this scripture,  God is addressing HIS people. Not the world. His people. People called by His name. That would be you and me!  I don’t know about you, but this excites me. Why? Because it isn’t dependent on what the ungodly do, only what the godly people do. Us!!!

I can’t change the hearts of the ungodly people, only God can do that….and He is not expecting the ungodly to change the world. He is expecting us. That’s good news. So even tho it’s a terrible plight we find ourselves in, it doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. It only means we need to heed this scripture and do what God says. So what first?

He tells us to humble ourselves. We can’t fix the problems that face our nation.  We  have taken years to get to this situation and without the help of God,  it will take years to reverse the damage. On our own, we are powerless to make the difference that needs to be made. We need the help of the only one who can offer true help. And we have to humbly ask for that help, to get it. Realizing our need for the help of God Almighty is the first step.

Next, we are to pray. Really pray. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Pray without ceasing.  Be like the woman who would not take no for answer. Jesus said she aggravated the judge until he helped her.  She stood her ground and pled her case and he relented and helped her.  Jesus also said God is not like that. We don’t have to aggravate Him.  Just ask. Ask and it shall be given unto you.

Fourthly, we are to seek His face. Do you remember the story of Moses? He had killed a man and was on the run when God called him to go back and lead His people. God said “the people seeking you have all died.”  They were fervently after Moses. They were trying to lay hold of Moses. Those people were in pursuit of Moses and Moses had to run to get away from them. God wants us to seek Him like that. Don’t stop until we have lay hold of Him, face to face.

An episode of The Andy Griffith Show is on the TV and I just looked up to see this…

andy opie

God wants His children to lay hold of Him, face to face.  ”Seek My face,” He says. Our relationship should be as close as Opie’s proverbial relationship to Andy.  Even closer. What a thrill this would be to God if we sought to have this kind of relationship with Him.  All of creation groans for us to take our place as sons……

Romans 8:22  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship

God wants us to be in our rightful place, as His Children. See the trust and confidence Opie has in his little face toward Andy? That’s what we will find when we seek God’s face.

And lastly,  we must turn from our wicked ways. He didn’t say the world had to change…He said we, His people, have to change our ways. Is there strife in the church? Is there sin? Are we living immoral lives all week and going to church on Sunday? Do we love one another? Are we spiteful and selfish?  Are we demanding our own way?

Or are we dying to self daily and seeking a revival “that begins with me”?  We must if we ever hope to save this land and preserve  this sanctuary for our children’s future.

I believe we are ripe for another Great Awakening. But we, the church, have to seek God for it. We have to change our ways. Instead of looking out the doors of the church at the sins of the world that need changing, we need to look inside the doors and do something about ourselves.

Only then will God hear from Heaven and heal our land. It’s up to us. Our future, our country’s future and our children and grandchildren’s future depend on what we do today.

If MY people….who are called by MY NAME…

will humble themselves and pray…and seek MY face….

and TURN from THEIR wicked ways…….

THEN will I hear from Heaven and

Heal their land.

 

Oh, Lord, Let it begin with me.

Gourmet Cupcake Brownies

gourmet cupcake brownies1

Gourmet Cupcake Brownies came into being because one day, like Paul, I put away childish things. I had been making Cupcake Brownies ever since Miss Mildred first brought them to Brick Church for a Sunday Social back in 1979. On that day we were introduced to this delightful brownie and it became a church family favorite and has been ever since. I think every one of us young mamas added it to our recipe box that very day. And since then our daughters have all grown up and added it to theirs. [Read more...]

Re-Purposed Wash Stand

Re-purposed washstand

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to do something with an old dry sink I had been holding on to for over a year. The drawers had gotten damp and were swelled to the point they wouldn’t budge, so re-purposing was the only way to go. It was a great piece of furniture. It had great bones, it was solid wood and had very nice curves. Plus, it was oak.  It just needed some TLC and a little imagination. And  a little sweat. [Read more...]

Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad

balsamic grape and tomato salad1A

There are several things my husband calls my signature dishes. They’re mostly dishes I created and serve regularly. If you happen to be invited to my house for a meal, you will certainly be served Blackberry Tea.  And there are other dishes that my family and friends can count on, like Pumpkin Cheesecake in the Fall, Cinnamon Rolls at Christmas, Chocolate for my annual Valentine’s Day Dinner. But, there is one dish I serve year round and everyone loves~ Balsamic Grape and Tomato Salad. It’s been standard fare here for over 10 years…we love it. The great thing is that all the ingredients are available year round,  so you can enjoy this refreshing dish anytime and all the time. And we do! [Read more...]

Surrounded by Pharaohs

song of moses

Surrounded by Pharaohs seems to be exactly where the church is today. I mean the true church. Believers who truly want to live for the Lord God. The people who take the Precious Word of God seriously and believe it means what it says and says what it means. No fooling around distorting the truth. The truth is the same yesterday, today and forever. It will stand when all else fails. Those people are surrounded by pharaohs. We are. [Read more...]

Watermelon Gazpacho

watermelo gazpacho tall

The Fourth is right around the corner and while you’re planning your cookouts and getting your watermelons iced down for the big day…I thought I’d share a way to add an amazing little twist on your celebrating with Watermelon Gazpacho. It’s perfect for hot weather…especially when you crank up the grill or head to the beach. [Read more...]

Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake

sinfully delicious devils food cake2

This week we had two birthdays in our family and we’ll have another one on Monday! Hands down, this cake is everyone’s favorite birthday cake. Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake is hard to beat. Chocolate on Chocolate. A chocolate lovers dream!  I came across a recipe several years ago from David Lebovitz for Devil’s Food Cake and  not only was it delicious,  it was also, very easy to make. I made one and before the week was out I had made two.  That’s when I found out it was the perfect birthday cake. Everyone wanted one. Same thing the next year and now, this year, too.  So, let me share with you the most Sinfully Delicious Devil’s Food Cake,  ever! [Read more...]

God Cares About You

Young woman in hat standing on sand and looking to a sky

I can’t believe it has been a year.  A year ago this week our family went through a trial ~ literally~ and spiritually.  As we sat in my driveway, all I could say was “God cares about you and what happens to you. And even though we can’t see the future,  this is just part of  His plan for your life.  And it will all be fine. Somehow.”  Oh, that’s so easy to say…to someone else. But when it’s your child, it seems so trite, almost a copout. Just words on a page. “God cares about you and it will be ok.” Truthfully, I felt abandoned. Why on Earth did God let this happen to my daughter?  I didn’t know. [Read more...]