Randoms, Asian Meatloaf, & Chocolate Mint Sherbet

Christmas gifts become more than a checklist when we're able to see our goal as showing others the love God gave you. ~[AC]

Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ. Any weight in Christmas has to be of this world. ~Ann Voskamp
Apparently I'm not the norm, but I just don't get the point of stressing over the holidays! WHY??? I understand perfectionist tendencies all too well, but I almost feel like it's a "greater" sin [yes, I know sin is sin] during the holidays, b/c it's ruining the point of the celebration in the first place. If something is not pleasant &/or beneficial, I'm not doing it. I am sooo anti-meaningless obligation!

From Following the Star:

We’ve seen the star in the east, so let us begin our journey to Bethlehem. On this Advent road, the star illumines our greed, our fears, and our ambivalence.
On this Advent road, the star lights our path with hope and comfort.
On this Advent road, let us follow this star with the fear of the shepherds and the joy of the angels.

I confess, God, that I do not always take seriously your coming into my life. I have habits I never get around to changing, I refuse to always love or show love to those who are closest to me, and I have left good deeds undone. Show me new ways to live and love. Amen.

From goTandem:

Even with God, passive-aggressive behavior is ineffective: James 4:2 - “…you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” Voicing need builds trust whether with our spouses or with God.

How I know fall is officially over: it's been 5 full days since the pool guy came, I haven't skimmed, and our pool is still gorgeously leaf- & acorn-free! (It hadn't been clear for more than 4 minutes since September! :-D) Several trees over ours are still full, but for whatever magical reason (I'm not asking or complaining!) our pool is summer-clear. I want to jump in so badly!!! ...And then I remember how freaking freezing it is. :-( :-P

Check out my SUPER DRAMATIC 4 INCH haircut! Can't you tell??? :-D
[Photo credit: Will, who just wanted to take pics with my phone, so I obliged.]
This is my favorite length, and my BFF Jackie - with impeccable style - has always said the same thing, so it *must* be true. :-) I meant to do it a couple months ago, but time got away (not to mention I was gun shy after the Annelise fiasco. :-P)

Praise God for 79°F in December!!! Our low will be the high by the end of the week, but I surely am enjoying it now. :-)

We sang this song - Running in Circles by United Pursuit Band - Sunday morning, and it's really sticking with me:

So simple, so true... Just beautiful...

SOOOOOO IN LOVE AND TOTALLY OBSESSING over Silhouette heat transfer material!!! I don't need the starter kit, but my head is about to EXPLODE over what all I could make with the smooth & flocked rolls! WHY, OH WHY couldn't I have discovered this before I gave out my Christmas list?!?! :'( Santa, can you hear me???

Last night, I made my "famous" Asian meatloaf for the first time in AGES...and why did we go so long w/o it??? Everyone(!) in our household eats it happily, so it's definitely going back into heavy rotation:

Asian Meatloaf
•1 lb. ground beef (I use lean, 9% fat)
•½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
•¼ cup ground flaxseed (optional, but yay fiber & omega-3s!)
•1 tsp garlic
•¼ tsp salt
•¼ tsp pepper
•⅛ tsp ground ginger (I use grated fresh)
•2 Tbsp mushrooms
•2 Tbsp green onions
•2 Tbsp diced red pepper (not in Susie’s)
•¼ cup diced onion (I don't bother with 2 different onions; if you want the color of the green, go for it; you can always just use onion powder, too, when your kids don't want the extra texture)
•1 egg
•¼ cup hoisin sauce

*Spray loaf pan with Pam.
*Mix all above ingredients and shape into a loaf, leaving room on all sides of the pan.
*Spread 2 additional Tbsp hoisin sauce over the top of the loaf.
*Preheat oven to 375° and bake uncovered for 60 minutes, or until a thermometer shows an internal temperature of 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

This recipe doubles easily and freezes beautifully! Just wrap & freeze your loaves and defrost in the fridge before you cook them.

I also experimented with another big winner last night. After the Skinny Pumpkin Sherbet, I kept thinking about making a chocolate mint version...and it WORKED! This is definitely sherbet, not rich & thick ice cream. You can easily go there with heavy cream, but I actually prefer sherbet sometimes, (esp. non-fruity flavors!), and I like desserts that I can eat a TON of w/o feeling guilty. This is that:

Chocolate Mint Sherbet
•2½ cups of lowfat milk (I used Skim Plus; also big on Smart Balance)
•½ cup Splenda for baking (b/c I'm trying to use it up; I'm getting stevia for baking the next time I get to Trader Joe's; you could use raw sugar or agave syrup, if you don't care about calories)
•¼+? cup cocoa powder (sorry, I don't know how much I used, b/c I just dumped some in the pot)

*Combine in a saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Bring to a full boil while whisking, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for thirty seconds.
*Remove from the heat, add several drops of peppermint extract, and stir.
*Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about an hour. When chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
*Midway through the freezing process, add crushed peppermint candies for an awesome bonus! :-D (Soooo good! Chocolate chips might also be yummy, but I kind of hate when the chips get so frozen that you only taste their waxiness as you chew them up. Chocolate shavings would be be better. :-))

I ate the entire freezer of it (~2 huge servings?) by myself last night...and I may do the exact same thing tonight!!!


  1. I love reading your recipes!! I always add flax to any meat I cook! The hair is luscious!! Can I just say how much I enjoy being your friend 8 years later? You have really grown into an amazing woman! I know sounds cheesey--you know what I mean though. Amazing how spoiled rotten we were??? Now we know we can handle anything life throws us!!! I miss you!!!

  2. NOT CHEESEY! I just love you to pieces and miss you terribly!!! I am so thankful to have your precious friendship!!!!!


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