My Life Didn’t Go as Planned, and that’s OK

As my 27th year on this earth comes to a close this weekend, I cannot help but reflect on my life thus far. Chapter 27 included some horrible defeats and some nail-biting victories. I learned that I am much more ferocious gal than I ever dreamed I would be. I discovered that when the Lord sets you on a path, no stone can trip you off the path. I encountered many people who came alongside us to shoulder our burden. I also ran into people who doubt the will of God to my face. I cried the same amount to happy tears as sad tears in my 27th year.

One thing I would like to share with you is a quote I found on Pinterest regarding adoption.

I just think this is a great quote! A great reminder that sometimes our lives take a different turn then we anticipate, but it may work out even better then we expect!:

What a beautiful thought. A beautiful depiction of how messy life can be as a Christ-follower. I had so many carefully laid plans for my life. Plans that would prosper me and keep me from enduring hardship. Somehow though, the hardships I have encounter bring glory to God. How I handle the lemons of life, can create a sweet aroma to the Lord. He is honored in how we acknowledge His goodness and sovereignty in the good and hard times.

1 Peter 1:7

7″These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Some times I found myself on the floor during my 27 year crying out to God, “I know you are good. I know you are good. Why am I walking through something, so not good?”

After I cried my heart out, the Lord whispered to my heart, that I will be ok. My life is not going according to my plan, because He has something much better planned for me. My small-minded plans pale compared to His glory.

Right now, I am probably in the most difficult season of my life. The waiting season. Waiting to bring our sweet babe home. We were matched a month ago with a sweet boy due in April. Now, more than ever I am having to lay down my life’s plan’s and the control I struggle to have, in order to rest in God’s will. My sweet, promised babe is inside the tummy of another woman right now.

Everyday, I pray protection over both of them. Everyday, I struggle with not being the one to carry my sweet boy. Everyday, I feel more out of control of the situation than the day before. Then, the Lord reminds me, rather gently, that I was never in control to begin with. Ever since I gave my life to Him, I surrounded all reins to my life.

This is not how I pictured my road to motherhood. Would I change it? No way. The hurt and emptiness I’ve felt up to this point will pale when we hold our promised babe. The Lord has been on His throne the entire time. Before this and after this, He is Lord.

As you can tell by this rambling post, my life didn’t go as planned, but you know what? That’s ok.

Kylie Madole1

 

Pantry Party 

As if I need an excuse to go to HomeGoods, my friend posted about cleaning up her pantry earlier this month. A light bulb went off in my head that led me straight to HomeGoods’ front door. My pantry needed an overhaul.

It wasn’t that there was a ton of expired food or grime built up. It was that the clutter of haphazardly placing items back in the pantry had become overwhelming and slightly embarrassing. Now, I am just as much to blame as my dear husband. Cleaning up the clutter was not our only issue. I needed to create designated spaces for our items to go.

The challenge was laid before me. I accepted and began scouring the aisles for pieces that would not only fit in our small pantry, but also enhance it’s ability to store.

I looked for narrow, but deep baskets for any boxed items or packets of seasoning. At one point my whole cart was filled up with different baskets. With my husband standing next to me making sure I wouldn’t buy them all, I carefully sifted through my cart and decided to go with my gut instincts about which baskets would be best.

Next, I went home and decluttered my front closet some so that I could obtain another fabric basket for the bottom of my pantry.

Then, I went to work shifting, emptying and rearranging my pantry.

This was the end result.

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I was even able to take things off my kitchen counter to free up additional and unexpected space! BONUS!!!

At the bottom of the pantry are breads & chips on the left. Tupperware in the middle. Lastly, plastic-ware on the far right.

I am very satisfied with such a simple and fun change. I can see everything we have. Most importantly though, everything has a defined space.

What New-Year’s decluttering did you do?

Kylie Madole1

Let’s Roll into 2017

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What better way to ring in the New Year, than with Orange Cinnamon Rolls?!

 

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Over my work Christmas break, I got inspired by watching Trisha Yearwood do some baking. I had time on my hands and good thing I did! This took about 3 hours in totality to complete. Sooooooo worth it. I love Orange rolls. Here is my journey.

This is the EVER tideous dough phase. Mix, cover, wait.

Next, I got to take out all my life’s frustrations on the dough. You are aiming for a dough oval that will ultimately become a dough log. Butter, sugar and cinnamon your way to happiness. Then, roll baby roll. Time for the dough log.

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Here’s the log we are looking for! I used a bread knife to slice the baby up.

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Alas, one more stage of rising. Dough is a rather cruel lady who makes all of us wait on her.

Here they are baked and iced to gooey perfection. I was rather pleased with myself. Believe it or not, this is my first time making REAL dough. I think these turned out wonderfully, don’t you?

Here is the recipe I used:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/cinnamon-orange-rolls.html

Happy Rolling!

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Drop me a line about your cinnamon roll experiences!!!! I’d love to hear about them.

Kylie Madole1

Tater Tot Casserole to the Rescue

What is more lovely than a comfort meal with fifteen minutes of prep work on a chilly evening after work?

For all intensive purposes of this post- the answer is nothing!!!

I’ve never been much of a hash-brown or tater tot person. However, I make exceptions for delicious casseroles. Two types of cheese. Warm, comfort goodness without much effort, sways me towards tater tots in this instance.

Now, there are several reputable tater tot recipes floating around out there. No disrespect to them, but I cranked out my own recipe that I believe can hold it’s weight against those. In true casserole fashion, I used what I had and what I like. That is the whole idea behind a casserole, is it not?

Without further adieu,

Kylie’s Quick Tater Tot Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat skillet to medium with ground turkey. Add seasonings to ground turkey and brown in pan.

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Once turkey is browned almost all the way, add the corn and green chilies or whatever else you might like in the casserole.

Note: if you want onion, add before turkey as it takes longer to cook down.

 

Once turkey is fulled cooked, add block of cream cheese, turn off burner.

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Once, fully incorporated add mixture to tater tots and then, mix in sour cream & 2/3 of shredded cheese.

 

Spray large baking dish with cooking spray and then place mixture in dish. Top with remaining cheese.

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Cook for 35 minutes or until bubbling. Enjoy!

 

Kylie’s Quick Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients:

-1.25lb ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)

-12oz block cheddar (shredded its about 16oz)

-1 block cream cheese (8oz)

-1 bag frozen tater tots (usually 32oz)

-8oz sour cream

-2 TBSP garlic powder

-2TBSP cumin

-2TBSP onion powder

-dash of salt & pepper

Optional: 1 can green chilies, 1 can of sweet corn

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Brown turkey in pan on medium to high heat

-Add green chilies, corn etc.

-Once turkey is brown, turn off burner and mix in cream cheese

-Once cream cheese is mixed in, stir in tater tots, 2/3 of shredded cheese and sour cream

-Spray baking dish with cooking spray, then spread mixture in dish

-Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of mixture

-Bake for 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbling

 

Let me know how this recipe work for you!

Kylie Madole1

 

Reconciling

I am not giant of wisdom, that you were anxiously biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting for my thoughts on the turbulent last 24 hours of the United States. And quite frankly,  the turmoil has spanned the last two years and managed to has carve a political grand canyon  divide amongst american citizens.

Our next president faces, what I perceive, to be the greatest up-hill battle in recent history. Reconciling the American people. I imagine this as throwing rope bridges like crazy across the grand divide until enough people are on the other side to start building solid, immobile and lasting bridges. Permanent fixtures that tether both sides together.

In order for there to be people on the other side of the canyon, some must go first. We must blaze a dangerous and risky trail across to the other side. The rope is hair-thin and subjected to so much ridicule and strain already. Sweat on our brows, balancing on our tip toes frantically hurrying to solid ground, so that we may erect a better bridge, to bring people safely together. We will face winds of opposition and at times, lonesome, empty air beneath us.

If you are not a Christ-Follower, more than likely you will discount the rest of this article or simply stop reading altogether. While I do not wish for you and implore you to stay, I understand. Reconciling is not a human invention or notion. It is paranormal and at times, counter-intuitive. To understand how to reconcile a vastly divided people, one must learn from the author of reconciliation.

Enter Jesus. (Into politics? GASP!)

This is not regarding politics. This is regarding bringing people together rather than dividing them.

Jesus reconciled our sin and flesh with our Father who can only tolerate righteousness. Jesus met people in the muddiness of their dark hours and offered a hand, a tear, a word and love. He met people where they were at. He prayed for them. He held them. He listened. Jesus became our sin in order to reconcile us with God.

Regardless of who you wanted to win and who did win, we have a new president and an obvious need for change in society. Instead of stepping on each other for voting for our new president or not voting for him, why not look left and look right and see the people you are living life with. Be light and salt like we are commanded to live as Christ followers. Don’t engage in endless, hate-filled and meaningless facebook debates. Instead, take a true interest in one another. Pray for each other. Intercede for our new president. Pray for wisdom and discernment into others lives as well as your own. Shine the Light.

Resolve yourself to help reconcile the massive gap in our people by simply being Jesus to people. Jesus had the divine knack for bringing diverse people together. If He is for you, who can be against you? If He is in control of your heart, you too, should be able to bring people together in His likeness.

Reconciling people looks suspiciously like being Jesus to people. (Which you should already be doing.)

Daniel 2:20-22 NIV

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.

Kylie Madole1

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 sacred 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 step 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