Claiming Your Calling: A Retrospective Look at How the Lord Placed Calling on My Life

We can either be passive in the things that happen to us or we can actively search for meaning in our ‘happenings.’ We can simply exist in our circumstances or claim them for the Lord’s will. We can either toss and bob in the waves of the storm, struggling to stay afloat or we can paddle in the direction of the Lord and his shore.

My story is not a spectacular one. There is nothing glittery or particularly behooving about the circumstances that have made me who I am today. I think back though, and the thrill of my life has been my pursuit of the Lord’s calling on my life. That’s where the adventure and mystery lurks. That’s where we see friend and foe face each other. That’s where my plans collide with reality and divinity. That’s where I pull the Lord’s word out of it sheath and slay the distractions that interrupt my quest.

This calling was well out of my grasp and comprehension until a map to it was stamped on my heart. My calling was never really revealed to me like a little league soccer trophy was at Chucky Cheese. Instead, I felt that my calling was on a slender rock podium with a miraculous, golden light shining down on it, twinkling at me to take it.

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I rather haphazardly exchanged my well-thought-out plans for my life for a much simpler plan. I remember tiptoeing up to the podium. Gulping down my anxiety, because all I had to offer where the hopes and dreams of an impostor, I reach for this new calling. I squinted at the podium that now highlights the bag of unremarkable sand that my old life was. Clutching the new calling against my chest like a gold coin, I knew I my entire worth amounted nowhere near this calling’s worth. This calling would cost a life.

I dashed away from my old life and plans that I left in a crumbling temple. I felt the weight of this calling in my hands and heart. It was if it was literally engraved with ‘lay down your life and take up my cross.’ Fear pricked me from all angles. I knew this was the cost. My old life was laid to rest in that old, crumbling temple. There was and is no turning back. I hoisted my satchel up higher on my shoulder and embarked through the dense jungle of life with my new calling reminding me of its weight almost every step.

I knew what the calling was but did not know what my calling would look like day to day. Turns out; laying down my life and taking up my cross rarely looks the same each time. One day, it is denying the things I want to do in my free time, to pour into a life that needs it. Another day, it is simply not complaining. Two days before, it look like extending grace to a repeat offender. Next week, it will probably be keeping my flesh out of the way of the Lord’s will.

Today, my calling looks like accepting that my road to being a mother will look drastically different than any road I could have imagined a few years ago. When my husband asked me to marry him, after saying ‘yes,’ I immediately began to picture the life we would create together. I knew kids were at least three years off, but I let myself dream this dream. Maybe our kids would have thick hair and tan skin like their dad. Maybe they would have my hazel and yellow eyes and my pug nose.

Friends, we tried for two years to see this dream realized. All the while, begging God that this was in His will. Begging Him to erase the facts and hurt. Even with fertility treatment and the top doctors, Baby Madole never came. Lying in bed late into the night with a mixture of anger, loss, sadness, hopeless, fear and shame, my calling was coaxed open like an early spring flower in an April rainstorm. The Lord whispered to my wayward heart that my calling is to lay down my life. To release the reigns. To let the carefully laid out plans for my life be whisked out the open window by a phantom breeze.

Every time I submitted to the Lord suddenly seemed like practice for this moment. Like the Lord was calling my bluff. I was quick to submit in certain areas of my life, but the most cherished desire of my heart, I clung tightly to. The Lord reminded me that the scared calling I accepted from Him, was worth so much more than the small-minded plans I could scribble out on a restaurant napkin. If the Lord overrules the plans I have for my life, that is because He has masterfully-crafted a better story for me.

Enter Adoption.

My calling right now is to set out of the way of the Lord and let Him fulfill my deepest desire to be a mom through Adoption.

Baby Madole’s story is just a part of my calling. And in an effort to be 100% transparent, if you are a Christ Follower, this is your calling too. To lay down your life and the plans that seem so magnificently masterminded by you and cling tightly to the cross that He gives you. I desperately wish I could feel Baby Madole kick in my stomach and that Baby Madole would reflect my husband’s face. For the time being, that plan that I carefully polished all these years is laid among the dust and remains of my old life. I know God is very capable of orchestrating pregnancy for us, but obviously He has a better story written for us.

Today, I am reminding myself to claim my calling. Can you claim yours?

Kylie Madole1

Funky and Fresh star in BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps

**So, I realized that I never posted back in March! Eek! So, forgive the spring references but this dish is soooooo fresh and good anytime!**

 

Spring is here! Wave hello to the season of cookouts, rainstorms, flowers and sunshine!!!

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I am a fan of BBQ and salads. Therefore, I am a fan on BBQ chicken salads. This recipe is a funky yet fresh take on a BBQ chicken salad. It’s a BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wrap. How clever is that? Oh and it has pineapple! You can start salivating right about now.

 

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Here is the recipe –> http://www.howsweeteats.com/2015/05/bbq-chicken-and-pineapple-lettuce-wraps-with-cilantro-yogurt-sauce/?m

Of course, I almost always deviate from recipes. Call it my rebellious nature. Call it lack of attention to detail. What it actually is that I am very comfortable in my kitchen. I am comfortable in command of the food I place in the Madole bellies. I know what our pallets like. Therefore, it is acceptable, in my eyes, to deviate.

Here are my step by step pictures and my “tweaks.”

To keep it simply, I place all my seasoning in the same measuring cup. Dice up the chicken and pineapple and heat the skillet.

Add the seasoning to the chicken and place in skillet to cook. Add brown sugar. I just added 1 TBSP of sugar. Mix well and cook thoroughly.

Remove the chicken and set aside after it is cooked. I added the garlic, 4 green onion stems and the pineapple to the same skillet. As the mixture cooked down, I added the cashews for a nice crunch.

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The sauce is fairly simply to put together. Use greek yogurt and fresh lime and cilantro.

Now time to assemble your wraps and enjoy the BBQ without all the guilt!

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As always, I would love to hear from you. Please drop me a line!

Kylie Madole1

 

Monday Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mondays are rough. Like always. You work through the struggle and come home wiped out. At least I do. I wanted comfort food. Sure fresh is a-mazing and clean is perfect. Sometimes though, I want a cheesy plate of deliciousness. When I think cheese, I think (Tex)Mexican food. Enchilada sauce, cheese, green chilies and onion. Hmmm, what dish could I whip up with those ingredients? Oh, I’ve got it!!! Mexican Stuffed Shells. I can shove all of my favorite things into the shells and put cheese on top. Sounds like a perfect Monday meal to me. And to the Hubs.

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I used to use a recipe for this. However, I made so many tweaks that now it is my own recipe. I give you:

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

-1 lb ground turkey

-1 box large pasta shells

-1 yellow onion diced

-1 can chopped green chilles

-2 cans enchilada sauce

-8oz Colby Jack cheese shredded

-8oz block of cream cheese

-1 TBSP garlic powder, 1 TBSP onion powder, 1 TBSP paprika, 1 TBSP cumin

-1 TSP Salt, 1 TSP pepper

Directions:

-boil pasta shells until aldente, rinse in cold water

-add turkey to skillet over medium-high heat on stove

-add seasonings and start to brown turkey

-next add onion and green chilles

-once turkey is cooked, preheat oven to 350 degrees and add cream cheese to skillet

-once the cream cheese is melted and incorporated, remove from heat

-grease 9×13 pan well

-spoon turkey mixture into each shell and fill the 9×13 pan

-added the enchilada sauce to the pan, make sure to cover the shells

-sprinkle cheese on top

-cook for 25-30 minutes, until hot throughout

 

Here is my pasta boiling and my turkey mixture

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I added in the cream cheese, then filled the cooled shells

 

Next, I added the enchilada sauce

 

Then, I added the cheese and baked the shells

 

After 25 minutes: dinner is served!

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Puh-leassssssssssse try this recipe. It is so good. In fact, I am looking forward to my leftovers today for lunch. Drop me a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!!!

Kylie Madole1

Welcoming Spring with Lemon Raspberry Tarts

When you think of Spring, what do you think of?

When you think of Spring time foods, do you think color?

Do you think about the freshness that had been dormant all winter long?

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I do. I think of reds, pinks, yellows and greens. I think of refreshing tastes that cleanse the pallet.

After a nice dinner, I want a refreshing dessert that tastes like the season.

I found this recipe back at the end of summer and decided to break it out again last week. If you are not a fan of raspberry, you could substitute for another berry.

Raspberry Lemon Bars

recipe:http://diethood.com/raspberry-lemon-bars/

**Disclaimer: these are my pictures but please see the blog link above for the recipe and its creator.**

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The first step is making the dough for the bottom half of the tart. It is a drier dough that you press into the bottom of your greased pan, like so. (Make sure to grease the pan well, so that your tarts are not damaged when you take them out of the pan to serve.)

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After the dough is baked halfway in the oven, you add the lemon the mixture then place FRESH raspberries on top and bake once more. The lemon mixture is so fresh, I almost can’t handle it!

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After the baking is finished, let the tart rest to room temperature. Then, place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to completely chill. This is what mine looks like when I take it out of the fridge.

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Place on coordinating and fun dessert dish. Be a culinary artist with this next step!

Now, to balance out the tartness of the bar, use a flour sifter to sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Use at much or as little as you need.

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And whall-a! You have just created a sophisticated dessert for the season. This dessert will easily take you from March to July to September. Try the recipe out with a different kind of berry and see what you like best. As always, try to pick berries that are in season for the best taste, health benefits and prices.

Please leave me a comment and let me know how this recipe turned out for you.

Kylie Madole1

 

Daniel Fast Virgins: a Simple Tale of Discipline in the Lord

Fasting is never something most people that do it look forward to. Even if the outcome of the fasting is worth it. Whether it is going without some foods or social media, fasting is meant to be life altering for the glory of the Lord.

The idea of fasting is that in lieu of what we have given up, every time we crave it, we will commune with the Lord instead. So, when you are craving soda or twitter, you stop and remember why you have given those things up. You begin to praise the Lord, focus on him, and draw your needs from him instead. Through this process your realize that He is your sustainer. Prayer. Prayer being declared over cravings. Prayer. Communion with the Lord.

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My husband and I are new to Daniel Fasting. Here is the scripture it is taken from:

Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s Court

1 “During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah,[a] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia[b] and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon.[c] The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:

Daniel was called Belteshazzar.
Hananiah was called Shadrach.
Mishael was called Meshach.
Azariah was called Abednego.

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. 10 But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.”

11 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. 13 “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” 14 The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. 16 So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.

17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.”

 

Pretty great stuff right??? The idea that it is not the food we are putting in our bodies that makes us strong, but that the Lord makes us strong.

On the Daniel Fast, you are not allowed to eat dairy, meat, sugars, coffee/tea, anything with yeast (including bread) and anything artifically processed. This fast is very similar to vegan. Here are some examples of what I made our first week of the fast.

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This is a black-eyed pea salsa that I made for new year’s day. Here is the recipe:

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/12/black-eyed-pea-salsa/

 

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Here is a Quick Cashew Stir fry I made. this is my own recipe and super simple.

Quick Cashew Stir Fry

Ingredients:

-1 C Raw Cashews

-2 TBSP EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

-3 bags frozen stir fry mixed veggies

-Juice of 2 limes

Directions:

-place oil, then veggies, then juice, then cashews in a Wok pan

-Saute’ until veggies are hot and tender. Serve with brown rice.

 

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This meal was simply sauteed bell pepper and onion in 2 TBSP of EVOO and served over brown rice. You can squeeze some lime wedges over the dish if you need more taste.

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This is a black bean salsa that my husband made and I placed in iceberg lettuce for lettuce wraps one day. Here is the recipe for the black bean salsa.

http://www.thegardengrazer.com/2014/01/southwestern-black-bean-salad-with.html

My husband lasted all 21 days on the Daniel Fast. He ended his fast last night. I did a week on the fast but needed to add meat and some dairy back in for health reasons.

All in all, we are excited to see what 2016 will bring. The Lord abundantly blessed our 2015 with so many new adventures and friends to adventure with!!! One thing I know for sure about all life adventures is that there is promised blessing in obedience to the Lord. If you are following and seeking Him, He will lead you to a fulfilling life and life ever-lasting.

Kylie Madole1

Cranberry Turkey Burgers: The Literal Mashup

 

Cranberries are nowhere to be found for much of the year. I start salivating for them come September because I have found so many ways to incorporate them into meals. I search and search for them to no avail. All of a sudden, they burst onto the scene the beginning of November. I immediately scoop them up and start plotting.

As a kid, I actually did NOT like cranberries. I believed they only came in the form of mashed jelly. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong-o! My cranberry obsession started with my Grandma making this delicious Cranberry Jalapeno Relish over cream cheese for one of my wedding showers. Ever since then, I keep stumbling upon or just plain creating new ways to use them. A few posts ago, I shared the refreshing bruschetta featuring cranberries and pomegranate. Welp, today I have a semi-healthy burger for you with festive undertones. Buckle up, the cranberry bus is a-rollin’.

Cranberry Turkey Burgers

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Ingredients

  • Fresh Italian Rolls
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Havarti Cheese, sliced
  • 2lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 C sliced green onions
  • 1TBSP Ground Cumin
  • 1TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 C fresh, chopped cranberries
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cranberry Sauce: http://www.mamasemptynest.com/?p=2585

Instructions

Place ground turkey, seasonings, green onion and cranberries into mixing bowl and mix. Once the mixture is well mixed, form the mixture into patties. Cook the patties in a skillet or on a panni maker/griddler. The patties will cook about 15 minutes a piece or until fully cooked. Slice the rolls in half and place cranberry sauce on both halves. place the patty, then cheese, then toppings to complete the burger. This meal is best accompanied with sweet potato fries.

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As stated in the recipe, I paired the burger with sweet potato fries to keep with the festive, holiday theme. The sweetness of the sauce accompanied with the slightly sweet burger made for a great meal. We originally had made the cranberry sauce for a different meal, but had enough leftover, we needed a reason to use it up. Sometimes one simple ingredient can inspire a whole meal. So find something you love and let it inspire you!!!

Kylie Madole1

 

 

Pho-la la -ing around the Christmas Tree

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My husband’s Pho bowl

This dish is simply a phenomenon sweeping trendy boroughs and hipster communities around these parts. Pho ( pronounced fuh) is a traditional Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. I work close to that Asian District of OKC, so I have had the pleasure of trying authentic Pho locally.

I thought to myself, “I should try making this.” (For the sake of calling myself a kitchen craftsmen. I should be up to the challenge, yet ready to fall on my face.) Welp, no time like the present. So, a few weeks ago, I whipped this up. Both my husband and our friend staying with us, LOVED it!

I scoured Pinterest for a basic Pho recipe to gauge my skill set. I settled on this recipe:

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/vietnamese-pho-soup-recipe/

I will say I left out the fish sauce (because I am not a fan), star anise (could not find it) and bean sprouts (because I did not deemed them necessary to this feat.)

Here are my pictures throughout my process.

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The steak and onion marrying together

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Pho noodles

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Condiments ready for assembly including sirracha and sweet thai chili sauce

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My bowl lacked jalapenos or else I would have felt miserable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I thought this was a terrific beginner’s recipe. I am not a huge beef fan and actually allow very little of it in my diet. However, for the sake of making this properly for the first time, I made it with beef. Next time, though, I think I will venture into the world of Chicken Pho. That seems more up my alley.

Let me know what you think about this recipe or post. I love to hear from you.

 

Kylie Madole1

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite New Thanksgiving Eat

I know this is a week late but, boy howdy the Holiday season is always bustling. Especially because we have four sets of parents to celebrate with. Within all of that as well, there are so many seasonal and enjoyable things I want to do in the short span of four weeks! Christmas season has me like…

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If you have not had the chance already, check out my Pinterest page {kyliescookshop} and take a look at my Thanksgiving Eats 2015 board.

On that board you will find all of the dishes I cranked out for this Thanksgiving.

I tried several new recipes this year. I even dabbled with my first pomegranate ever!!!

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This was my favorite new recipe by far!  It got rave reviews from my family as well.

Cranberry Pomegranate Bruschetta

recipe:  http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2013/12/cranberry-and-pomegranate-bruschetta/

This really was quite simple and yet so darn sophisticated. Combine whole pomegranate seeds with a mixture of chopped cranberries, cilantro, orange zest, honey, sugar and sriracha sauce. It makes for a brilliant flavor and color combination. Place the seeds and berry mixture on top of toasted french baguette slices spread with cream cheese and wholla!

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The only thing that did not fair well for me was the orange zest. My orange was super juicy and even just zesting it cause the zest to be mushy and not sprinkly (if that is not a word, it is now).

My husband went on and on about how wonderful this dish was.

For travelling purposes, here is how we package the appetizer. After making the toasted bread slices, we spread soften cream cheese on them. We placed the slices on the platters and covered with Saran wrap. I placed the pomegranate cranberry mixture into a bowl with a lid. Once we arrived at my mom’s house, I placed a spoonful of the mixture on each slice and we were good to go. This packaging kept not only the bread from getting soggy but also, the presentation from getting too messy.

Tell me about some of the Thanksgiving eats you conjured up last week. Leave me a comment for a chance to win a week’s worth of meal planning!!!

Kylie Madole1

Thoughts on Community: New Friendships

Food and Community go hand in hand. The same way my life and it’s adventures cannot be separated from my spiritual life.

I strongly desire for others to grow in community together. God did not create us to be creatures dwelling in loneliness. No. He designed us to be interdependent on one another. It’s very interesting that two of my passions, community and cooking are intertwined. Often times in the Bible, people met over food. We still see this in cultures all over the world today. Here in the States we still do that although, more and more we are meeting over coffee or craft beer.

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My husband and I often reflect on how we can further community. More specifically Gospel Community. One of the ways we do this is that we host a weekly Lifegroup in our home. Of course, I always provide some munchies for the group. About once a month we have what we call a “family meal.” This is just where everyone in our group brings a side dish for our themed meal (i.e. Mexican or Italian) and we share a meal together as a Lifegroup.

Community does not have to be limited to planned events. Sometimes, we spontaneous join our neighbors cook out. We laugh, lift each other up and enjoy each other’s company. Luckily for us, our neighbors love the Lord like we do, so we seamlessly spur each other onward for the Lord. We share thoughts, burdens and praises over steaks and fruit salad.

The Lord intended for community to be common place. Enjoyed often. He intended for community to challenge us, pick up us when we fall and rally the troops for our aid. Often times, Jesus displayed his love for community by breaking bread in the homes of common people in the Bible. Even prostitutes. He demonstrated that we were never meant for isolation but to surrounded by loving people.

I want to challenge you to truly seek community. Truly. And not just in grand gestures, but in small moments when you take cookies and a jug of milk next door. Or when out together chips and dip for a party. Do life together with those around you and you will never be the same.

 

Kylie Madole1

A Quick Mass-Produced Dinner starring: Funeral Sandwiches

You know those days when a meal is so fantastic that you scarf it so fast, you don’t even remember to take a picture of the finished product? Oh ya, so that happened last week. I made a scrumptious meal and took step by step pictures but we ate them so quickly, I didn’t even get a finished product picture. Yikes!!!

I needed a quick meal for the guys at home.  I found this recipe a couple of years back and it has basic, great flavor that appeals especially to plain eaters. I mean who doesn’t like ham, cheese and Hawaiian rolls? Anyways, you can make one cookie sheet worth (about 24 mini sandwiches) or two cookie sheets worth for a bigger family. They only cook in the oven for about 12 minutes, therefore this is most definitely a quick mass-produced meal.

Sorry to be awkward but…for a finished product picture, please see the recipe!

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Without further adue, here is the recipe:

FUNERAL SANDWICHES  http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/04/ham-and-cheese-sliders.html

Here are all my ingredients lined up. (Minus the poppy seeds because the Missing Ingredient Dragon reared its ugly head again.)

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Here is the tray I used and how I sliced the sliced cheese in half.

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This is the melted butter goodness just before painting it on the rolls. At this step, you can actually add about 1/2 a cup brown sugar or about 1/4 cup of poppy seeds with the butter for even more flavor.

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It took me maybe five minutes to assemble the sandwiches. I sliced each roll in half.  I spread just a little mayo and each roll and even just mustard on a few to accommodate someone who doesn’t like mayo. Place one to two pieces of ham (or you could use turkey) and a slice of the swiss cheese I prepared earlier on each roll.

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Then you simply pop them in the oven for about 12 minutes and they come out perfectly ooey-gooey. I served four person to start with. I paired the sandwiches with chips and dip and called it a meal!

Let me know how this recipe works out for you!!!

Kylie Madole1