August 29, 2012

Come and See

Have you ever noticed as you go through life that your faith comes and goes in stages? Or is it just me? I mean, I always have faith. I always have a testimony of my Savior. But, I find as I go through different experiences sometimes I feel closer to my Savior and sometimes I feel as if I have wandered from Him a ways.

As I have recently been studying the New Testament more diligently I have learned a beautiful lesson. It is a lesson we can learn whether our faith is feeling strong enough to move mountains or, if for some reason our faith is feeling weak, or maybe for someone else, perhaps they have no faith at all. The lesson is the same. 
The most common miracle of the Savior’s ministry was healing the blind. One might wonder why? Was there a severe case of blindness in the Meridian of time? I don’t think so. I believe the Savior was very thoughtful and purposeful in all His teaching and healing. I believe there is beautiful dual meaning in these miracles.

Jesus declared “I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

After the Savior healed a blind man John tells us the man “came seeing.” And Jesus declared again “I am the light of the world.”

In John 1:43-46 we find the 2 Great Invitations of the Lord
1. Jesus invites Philip to “Come, follow me.
2. Philip, now converted, tells Nathaniel “We have found the Savior.” Nathaniel asks in disbelief “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip simply invites “Come and see.”

Come and See. It is a simple invitation. Remove the blindness from your eyes. From the very beginning of His mortal life this has been the invitation.

In Matthew the Wise Men say they have “seen” the star and have “come” to worship
In Luke, after the angelic invitation and proclamation, the shepherds say “let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing…"

After her marvelous conversion the humble Samaritan woman invites those in her town to “Come and see…  is not this the Christ?”

Even at the very end of his mortal life the invitation remains the same. The angel, in Matthew, declares to Mary “He is not here, for he is risen… Come and see.”
We find this invitation throughout the New Testament. It comes from the Savior Himself, from His Apostles, angels, and His humble followers; each inviting us to “come and see”.

And so, as we go through life the invitation is for us. If we are one who is blind and lacking faith – “Come and See”! Open your eyes to the power and mercy and love of Jesus Christ. If you are like me, perhaps sometimes you just need to see His love and miracles a little more often. What I have learned is I need to open my eyes. It is not that His love is lacking. My eyes have been somewhat blinded. His invitation is to me, a faithful follower: “Come and See”. Look a little closer, a little harder, and Come and See.  

August 23, 2012

Mama Mia Pizzeria!

Roasted Tomato & Basil Pizza 

So, I love finding new recipes that are easy and DELICIOUS! Well, this pizza is SUPER delicious and fun! Takes a little time, but not anything difficult, and well worth it. We LOVED it!

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough:

1 package active dry yeast (1 TBS)
1 tsp white sugar
1 cup very warm water

2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp salt

   1. Preheat oven to 450*. In medium bowl, dissolve yeast & sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy/foamy (about 10 minutes).
   2. Pour into large bowl (or mixer) stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. In mixer only about 3-5 minutes. Let rest for about 5-7 minutes.
   3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to pizza stone dusted w/cornmeal (or lightly greased pizza pan).
   4. Gently brush lightly with Olive Oil
   5. Bake about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes. Then add desired toppings...

STEP 2: make Pizza

Shaved Parmesan cheese
Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1 large green onion
4 garlic cloves
1 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1-2 cups baby arugula
8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
Fresh Mozzarella pearls
Fresh basil

STEP 3: In bowl toss cherry tomatoes, sliced green onion, 1 garlic clove, vinegar, salt & pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and cook in oven at about 350* for about 10-15 minutes or so. Not too long.
Also, roast other 3 garlic cloves in small skillet w/ little Olive Oil. On medium-high. Careful, this is fast. Just give them a little toast. Then stir with some fresh cut basil in the bowl that used to have the tomatoes.

STEP 4: Time to put goodies on top of pizza.

Spread with marinara sauce, spread on roasted tomatoes, sprinkle garlic & basil mixture
Dot with Mozzarella pearls, sprinkle shaved parmesan cheese, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese, mix in small amount of the baby arugula
Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes ~ just until cheese is good and melty.

Remove and sprinkle rest of the baby arugula and a little more fresh basil on top.
Serve. DELICIOUS!! This is NOT YOUR NORMAL PIZZA and I'm Not Your Normal Nana! 
Second Option: we used goat cheese instead of the mozzarella pearls. We also added roasted pine nuts with the roasted garlic.
Of course, you can add all kinds of yumminess to this: artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, meats… etc.. ENJOY

August 08, 2012

Oh My Sister, You're Getting Old!

My sister turned 50 years old this summer! It’s quite a milestone. Half a century! Five decades. 18,250 days! That’s a lot of days to either get things right or get them wrong. Thankfully, she has spent most of those days getting it right. 

Her birthday has caused me to reflect on a couple of things. FIRST: getting old and SECOND: Sisters. While I truly appreciate and am eternally thankful for sisters I am still trying to fully appreciate getting old.

I haven’t quite figured out how to lovingly embrace Middle Age.
Bob Hope once said “Middle Age is when your age starts to show around your middle.” And Bette Davis said “Getting old isn’t for sissies!” 

As I seem to be more forgetful, my back aches more often, my knees creek and I continue to find grey hairs I realize How True It Is!

Notwithstanding the difficulties of getting older, I am thankful I have about a half a century of great memories with my sister. I am blessed to have 5 AMAZING sisters. We are blessed to, not only be sisters, but to be the best of friends. Sisters share a special bond.  A bond almost greater than any other human bond. They share bedrooms, boyfriends, secrets, clothes, joys, heartaches, triumphs and tears. It is because of their special bond that sisters survive the many experiences throughout life. 

How thankful I am for my sisters.