Dinner · Fast meal · Gluten-Free · vegetarian

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

If you haven’t gotten on the Sheet Pan dinner Chuck wagon train yet, what are you waiting for? I have been making these for a couple of years now. Everything is tossed onto a large baking pan and roasted in the oven. You can make them to suit your dietary needs and your family’s tastes. They’re hearty and delicious and fast!

We’ve recently had new friends come to dinner who are Vegan. I didn’t see this as an obstacle, but rather a challenge to get creative! Vegetables are an obvious “Yes” for Vegans, so I knew this Sheet Pan dinner would be safe.

If you want to add meat to this, some good options would be chicken breast filets, cubed, or Turkey sausage – both which would be added early to the pan. Then you add the vegetables that don’t require as much cooking time. If you wanted to add shrimp, you could cook the vegetables, then add the shrimp for the last few minutes.

The version I made yesterday for our Vegan friend had Chick Peas, which adds some protein. When it came out of the oven, I tasted it and felt like it needed a little bit more flavor, so I added a little vinaigrette. I’ll add that recipe on the recipe below. This is also a great side dish to a meat – so don’t think this is just Vegan-friendly!

My Menu:
Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner
Pork Tenderloin (for the meat-eaters)
Kale Salad – From Sam’s Club
Sour Dough Bread
Lemon Sorbet with fresh berries

Colorful Sheet Pan Dinner

  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups petite baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 1 can (14oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon of EACH dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
  • ½ large red onion, sliced lengthwise
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, silpat or lightly grease with cooking spray. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and chickpeas to the center, drizzle with half the oil and most of the herb & spice mixture, toss well to coat. Every ten minutes I turned the vegetables over with a spatula to ensure even browning. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until tender.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, add the asparagus, add the remaining oil and herb/spice mix, toss to coat, as shown above right. Place back in the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve with sliced avocado and plenty of parsley sprinkled over top.

Dressing I added:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp  paprika
    Mix in small jar. Pour over cooked vegetables

Jump on board and make a Sheet pan dinner this week! It’s so delicious!

Home decor · refreshment at home

My Cozy Minimalist Family Room Makeover

Myquillin Smith’s book, The Cozy Minimalist has helped me to transform yet another room in my house. You may remember my living room makeover that was completed at this time last year. You can find that post here. The transformation made such a difference and created a space we still love so much.

Soooo, I was very excited to move to our bonus room upstairs to give it some much needed minimalizing. What is crazy is that we called it the Family Room, but our family spent little time up there because it just wasn’t inviting. All the leftover pieces of furniture got put there and it just didn’t flow. I’ll prove it by this embarrassing Before photo…

It pains me to even look at this before photo!

First, I want to say that I prayed about how I wanted to use this room. and I also prayed the Lord would give me wisdom to purchase what was needed and stay in a budget that I had saved for. Use:

  1. We wanted to have groups of people – our family, small group Bible study, folks we would counsel and also guests. We needed good seating, and a place for coffee cups or tea glasses.
  2. I also wanted a place where my grandsons could play and join me for Bible Club.
  3. My husband needed a spot that was good for rest and relaxation; a place to watch football
  4. I wanted and a place where we could be together in the evenings

When I decided to redo the room, I used a beautiful horse painting we were given by the dear man who painted it to guide my colors and style! It’s quite large and I could never find a spot to hang it. Now it’s the centerpiece of the room. I painted the wall behind it a deep blue to accent the colors in the painting and make it “pop.”

One new piece I purchased was a love seat. I looked everywhere for one I loved and finally found one at Robert’s Furniture Store in Greeneville, TN. The sales rep there was so helpful! I couldn’t be happier with our Made in America purchase!

Here’s the first peek at the room…

Per the clear and precise guidance of The Cozy Minimalist, I emptied the room of everything except the big pieces to “quiet” the room. Then I could really focus on what I felt the room needed.

Our sofa was about 25 years old and I was ready for something I was in love with. I sent it to another home where it’s being put to good use because it’s still in perfect condition! Then I went to Facebook Marketplace and searched for a replacement. When I found a white slip covered sofa in perfect condition I knew that’s what I wanted. She was asking more than I felt I wanted to spend. I prayed about it and offered her less. She took it!

Part of the way through the redecorating

Again, following the advice in The Cozy Minimalist, I purchased my rug before choosing paint. These had all the perfect colors from the horse painting and is large enough to go under the sofa and chairs.

The leather Ottoman came from a store in Brevard, NC – MANtiques. I wanted the room to feel masculine and like a library kind of feel, and when I found the leather Ethan Allen ottoman, I knew it would be perfect in our room. I called the store with an offer lower than the price tag. She came down a little, but it still didn’t fit in my budget. I told her I would pray about it and get back to her. The Lord gave me a price to offer. I called back and she said, “I’m happy to give it to you for that!” “Thank you, Lord!” It has storage under the lid, so it’s a great place to hold our games!

We did some furniture swapping in our house and had two chairs that worked perfectly for more seating. Shopping your own house is great and free!! The only other thing I purchased is the large round mirror over the sofa. It came from Hobby Lobby and was purchased at 50% off! I love that it reflects the painting, the blue wall and the good light from the wide window.

I’m still contemplating my curtains. I’m thinking about going with a blue.

The television armoire was built for us by my father-in-law many years ago. I love having the television tucked away from view.

I’ll end with a before and after. Simply click in the middle of the next picture to slide the picture over to reveal the whole before and after photos!

Click in the middle of the picture and slide it over to see the Before and After!

The planning, purchasing and work of the transformation took six months, but it was worth it! We have spent so much more time up there already!

Is there a room in your house you don’t use because it isn’t inviting? I urge you to consider using Myquillen Smith’s techniques. I’m clearly not a minimalist, but her step-by-step guide is so helpful in making decisions in every step of the process. You can’t even imagine how easy it makes decorating! Don’t forget to pray about each decision and let the Lord make the room a blessing for you to use for His glory!

I hope you’ll refresh a room in your house!

denise a
Christian Life · Christlikeness

Reckless Christians

Yesterday I went to our local Ingles to do my grocery shopping.  When I had finished and returned to my car, I looked up and saw the car pictured here.  That car is not in motion!  It’s parked like that!  I laughed out loud, then I had to snap a picture.  It was too unbelievable not to share.  

When my husband sees a car parked like that he’ll say, “For heaven’s sake, if they’d just take five seconds…”  It’s true.  How much longer would it have taken for them to actually get their car all the way into their space before they jumped out?  About five seconds.

When I got home and was thinking about the driver, I thought, “If they get the tail of their car hit, they surely asked for it.”  A person who has a license knows the rules of driving.  They know what is expected of them when they call themselves a driver, yet so many drivers don’t take the time to do the right thing.

I call myself a Christian.  Do I take the extra time to:

  • Share the Gospel with a stranger?
  • Stop and pray with a friend who just shared her burden with me?
  • Write a get well card to someone at church and add a favorite Bible verse?
  • Volunteer to serve at my church?
  • Invite an unsaved family to my home for a snack or meal?

None of the things I just mentioned really take that much extra time from our day.  Just like the careless driver, we can tend to recklessly plunder our way through our day without slowing down for “five seconds” to just do the right thing.  

Don’t allow yourself to be the target for someone’s photo of a careless Christian.  Slow down.  Consider where you’re parked, then look around to see if you need to straighten things up a bit.  

Think about what have you done recently that showed that you were taking the time to do the right thing as a child of God. Ask the Lord to reveal any areas that need to be “straightened out” in your life.

Oh, and take those extra five seconds to park your car in the lines. =)

Fast meal · Healthy Eating

Two-Ingredient Pizza Dough

I love eating a healthy diet, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to deprive myself of good food! Last Friday I decided we were having pizza for supper. One slice of a Thin and Crispy pizza from Pizza Hut is 6 points on the Weight Watchers plan. However, a recipe I found on WW is only 7 points for a whole personal pizza.

Here is a 2-Ingredient Pizza Dough with ground turkey, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. It was so delicious! You may remember that I made 2-Ingredient Bagels with this same dough..

bagel 7

Those bagels were good, but I think the pizza dough is the best use of that recipe! The pizza dough was crispy and really tasty! This recipe came together so fast, too. Usually a homemade crust takes lots of early prep, but not so with this recipe! About 30 minutes is all it took to mix up the dough, roll it out and top it with my toppings. They only baked for about 15 minutes! Don’t let the fact of the dough containing Greek yogurt scare you – you won’t even taste it!

Turkey Pizzas with 2-Ingredient Dough
1 Cup fat free Greek yogurts
1 Cup self-rising flour (or add 1 1/2 tsp. baking power & 1/4 tsp salt to all-purpose flour)
1 Cup Canned tomato sauce
3/4 Cup Shredded part-skim Mozzarella Cheese
Turkey Pepperoni or Browned Ground turkey
4 Tbsp Grate Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbl. slivered Basil
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place yogurt and flour in a large bowl; stir well with a wooden spoon until just combined, and then keep mixing dough in bowl with your hands until smooth (about 2 minutes of kneading). If dough is too sticky to knead, add more flour, 1 Tbl at a time until no longer sticky.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on a work surface and sprinkle with flour; place dough on paper. Use a knife to cut dough into 4 equal pieces.
Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into 6-7 inch oval. Place on prepared baking sheet, bake until dough is beginning to turn lightly golden, about 18 minutes.


Remove from oven and top each with 1/4 C sauce, 3 Tbl Mozzarella cheese and turkey. Return to oven and bake a few more minutes until dough is cooked through and cheese is melted.

Serve each sprinkled with Parmesan and basil.

Of course you can add other toppings as you wish. I added red onion and sun-dried tomatoes.

We each had one the first night I made it, and then the next night we ate the other two that were left over. I popped them back into the oven and they reheated beautifully.

If you’re hungry for pizza but don’t want all the calories, I urge you to try this recipe. I think you’ll be genuinely surprised how delicious it is!!

Refresh your healthy diet with PIZZA!!!

Dates · Refreshment in marriage · The Scenic Route

Stress-Reliever Scenic Route Date

I’m so thankful for a husband who is my sounding board. He listens so patiently as I share the things that are burdening my heart. This week I said,

I’m feeling really stressed over several things that are coming up in the next few weeks. I’m really going to need your help to think right!

He nodded, knowing already the truth that I had just shared. He lives with me. He knows what triggers my wrong responses.

That night after supper, I asked if we could go for a ride. We live in the country, and we often just hit a country road, enjoy the scenery, watch the sun set and come home refreshed. We jumped in the car and he headed towards the interstate. Hmmm, this was no “drive in the country – I sensed we were having a Scenic Route Date/Adventure!” We headed towards Bristol, Virginia, about 30 minutes from where we live.

After driving into town, we headed downtown where all the cute shops are, but also our favorite local bakery – Blackbird Bakery! Excitement was building!!!

Blackbird Bakery (@blackbirdbake) | Twitter

Dale parked along the street and we made our way into the bakery where we carefully deliberated over their expansive dessert selections. Their donuts are outstanding, so my husband had one with Peanut Butter filling and a Chocolate glaze. I enjoyed a cute little chocolate tart filled with a light, fluffy mousse and topped with a raspberry.

20181023_170044_large.jpg - Picture of Blackbird Bakery, Bristol -  Tripadvisor
Here’s the Mousse I enjoyed.
(Picture from Blackbird Bakery site)

Taking our treats to a small table, we settled in where we carefully enjoyed each bite of our treats. Then my husband pulled a small cardboard box out of his pocket that contained a game. My heart melted at the fact that he had thought ahead to bring a game! It was Scrabble Slam! A card version of Scrabble. It’s face-paced and of course, “wordy” and so much fun. We played the first round. I won. The second game delighted him because he beat me! So of course we had to have a tie breaker!

Scrabble Slam Cards

We were there about 45 minutes before we headed towards home. It was such a fun time, and a great diversion! I enjoyed it so much that I failed to even snap a picture! The date was relatively short and very low-key, but it was just what I needed, and just what our marriage needed. It’s proof that it doesn’t take lots of planning or lots of money or time to invest in your relationship. It was also a reminder to me about how much I need my husband and what a treasure he is to my life!

Oh, in case you’re wondering about the tie-breaker Scrabble Game, let’s just say, it was close, but my love for words won out!

What fun, yet simple outing could you and your spouse enjoy this week? Perhaps he’s the one who is a little stressed. Your response to him could be the blessing my husband’s thoughtfulness was to me. Take the Scenic Route and enjoy a simple date together!