The Revealing, Secret Diaries of a Not-So-Secret Foodie

Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category


In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on June 18, 2011 at 8:54 am

Merle's Chinese Chicken Salad in Red Cabbage Leaf Bowl with Fortune Cookie

Ramen Noodles; those super long noodles I first discovered in college.  The cheap and tasty meal in a package that was my go to dinner in a “hot pot” when the spending money, meant to last all month, was nearly gone after less than a week.  Some might consider them a salty lesson in budgeting, but for the foodie, more likely an inspiration.  When left to a lively imagination, they are quickly transformed into a secret ingredient stowed away in the next Chopped Champion’s wicker basket, awaiting their successful incorporation into a winning appetizer, entrée or dessert.

When deciding which recipe to post next, it occurred to me those very same noodles had a front row seat at some very joyful events in my life.  That’s because they are actually incorporated into a salad that has become a family food tradition when women in my family shower a Bride-to-Be or a new Mom-in-Waiting with joyful, new beginning wishes.  For me, this blog is in part about, JOY.  So posting this recipe is a “joyful” must.  Plus, it is a recipe that my sister, on more than one occasion, specifically requested for her “keeper box”.  So in here, it will be.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Can”nellini Bean

In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on April 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm
Doug's White Chicken Chili with Fresh Cilantro and Jalapeno Garnishes

Doug’s White Chicken Chili with Fresh Cilantro and Jalapeno Garnishes

My next recipe was given to me by my sister, yes the very same sister who doesn’t really cook.  The one to whom I have dedicated this blog, Lori Anne.  You might wonder how it came to be that she gave me a recipe, a recipe so good and well-received that it has ended up in my keeper box filed under the letter “C”, for “Chili”.  Well, this is not your average chili. It is spectacular.  There is always a story, right?  Well here it is.

My little sister invited my husband, son and I over for a quick dinner before trick-or-treating with our kids.  Lori’s favorite holiday is Halloween.  She always goes all out.  That year she told me she’d found a recipe she wanted to try.  She saw it in a cookbook that she had picked up while on vacation.  She was going to make it for dinner. Hmmm, Lori was going to make us something for dinner.  I have to admit, I was intrigued the moment she said “I found a recipe in a cookbook”.  It is not that Lori can’t cook.   Rather, it isn’t her thing.  She’d prefer to have someone else do the cooking while she kept them company.  She just isn’t the type to peruse cookbooks, much less do it for leisure while on vacation.  Or, so I thought.

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In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on March 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

pumpkin crunch cakeWith great awe I would watch my mom pack up the hardtop Buick Electra as we prepared for the traditional Thanksgiving Day trek. I knew enough to stay out of her way when she was in the midst of shoving things here and there. She never said it specifically; however, her face said it all. Her mind focused with great determination, her eyes fixed on the task at hand and her brow seriously flexed for the added “Oomph” to get things where they needed to go. Yep, I knew not to go anywhere near her or that car. I just sat back and took it all in. My dad also seemed to instinctively know not to offer any advice, nor question the placement of a packed item, lest a piece of uncooperative luggage come flying his way.

I love to recall how many people, pieces of luggage, lovely desserts and on more than one occasion, an oversized dog, a lone woman could creatively cram in the family vehicle. Especially, when I remind myself that she did it years before the advent of the now common mini-van. Nope. She did it seventies-style. No car seats or seat belts to hinder her ingenuity. Sometimes I wonder how we all survived those early road trips precariously perched atop all our belongings. But we did. We survived. And we did it in grand-style packed to the gills; bickering, teasing, singing and complaining all the way. With the car packed and all passengers in place, we’d depart. Destination: Gramma & Papa’s house.

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Chicken Soup

In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on March 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm
Swiss Chicken with Grape Tomato & Argula Salad

Swiss Chicken with Grape Tomato & Arugula Salad

The year I was born my aunt was nine. My mom, her sister, was twenty-one and still wearing braces. How unaware we all were that day of the unusual, yet needed tie, that would be formed between the three of us in the years to come. Sometimes, someone else’s tragedy is your unknown blessing, even if not fully realized until many years later. Sadly and suddenly, I had received a precious and beautiful gift sent straight from God, albeit unexpected and unsolicited. I received an older sister, overnight. Read More>


In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on March 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm
Southern Blackberry Cobbler served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Southern Blackberry Cobbler served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

It is amazing how, even today, the sight of blackberries can always make me smile.  I smile when I see them in the produce section at the grocery store.  I grin when I find them collected in the little wooden baskets found in neat rows on narrow folding tables at the local farmers’ market.  And, I am delighted when I discover some new use for them tucked away in the pages of Wednesday’s Food Section in our suburban paper. Read More>


In Essay, Faith, Food, Gab, Photos, Recipe on February 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm


Christine's Mile High Chicken Pot Pie

Christine's Mile High Chicken Pot Pie

Traditional.  “Old School”, my husband might say.  These adjectives are some of those that might be chosen to describe me, by family and friends.  Maybe they know how much I relish preserving the past, when it is the right thing to do. Perhaps they understand my desire to save things that are well-made, but are at risk of getting discarded or lost, simply because they are not new.  Or could it be my deep respect of history?  Not so much history in the textbook sense, but rather looking back at the evolution of things over time.  Specifically, noting when we got things exactly right or when things just got off course.  I guess you might say, I’m more of a “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” kind-of-gal.  Read More>

Courage is putting your ideas into action.

In Faith, Tidbits on February 15, 2011 at 10:37 pm

©, 2011.

Preserves: Lovingly-stored Summer Sweet Memories of Yesterday

In Faith, Photos, Tidbits on February 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm
My Sister & I.         August of 1975, Panama City

My Sister & I. August of 1975, Panama City

Life is a beach when you recall the tiniest details of sweet memories.   Right down to the feeling of the sunburn on your back, the wind in your face, or the security of having one of your best friends by your side.  The photograph can only capture the image, but your mind preserves the precious details.  Details which last a lifetime.  If you haven’t already, preserve some sweet memories today.

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends”.  -First Corinthians, 13.7

Me & My Dad. July 2007, Siesta Key

Me & My Dad. July 2007, Siesta Key

©, 2011.

Sunrises, don’t save them for vacations. They might just inspire you to take a new path; maybe even at a different speed.

In Faith, Tidbits on February 12, 2011 at 8:02 am

©, 2011.

A collection of short stories with photographs to inspire and soul-warming recipes made with Love

In Faith, Gab on February 9, 2011 at 7:52 am

©, 2011.