#WorthRevisit: Anniversary Special

Hubs and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary today! In honor of the occasion, I have an Anniversary Special: snips from a couple of anniversary-related posts and a bonus recipe.


Funniest moment of our wedding day: (from 2007)

We hadn’t arranged for limos since the church and reception were fairly close. So the guys in the wedding party took the girls in their cars. We never arranged for rides for OURSELVES! After the photo-ops were over, we were almost the only ones left in the church, and we had no way to get to the reception. So we hitched a ride with the neighbor who was responsible for getting us together.

How we met: (from 2007)

Blind date!! My father worked with Hubs’ neighbor. In fact, they’d worked together so long that she knew me first. When Hubs had broken up with his long-term girlfriend, she played Yenta the Matchmaker.

TheKid’s Scathingly Brilliant Idea: (from 2013)

TheKid is a soccer fan. This morning he announced, “Mom, the World Cup is going to be in Brazil next year! Can I go?”


I thought his request was funny, so I was telling Daughter about it. She replied, “I’d love to go! I’d bring my friend. She speaks Portuguese. And I’ll learn how to ask where the bathroom is. I’m pretty sure it’s almost just like Spanish.”

“Right. The last thing I’m going to do is send the two of you and one other teenager to Brazil.”

TheKid, for whom Hope Springs Eternal, had a plan. “Wait! Aren’t you and Dad going to celebrate your 25th anniversary soon?”

christ-the-redeemer-statue-brazil“No. It’ll be 23 in January.”

“Oh. Well, I have an idea! You and Dad can go to Brazil on your honeymoon!”

“And I’m guessing that you and Daughter would be the chaperones?”

“Well, no. We would go to the soccer game, and you and Dad can go visit that big Jesus on the mountain. I thought of everything! It’s a great plan! What could possibly go wrong?”

Recipe for the Very First Meal I Served My Husband

(because when I love people, I cook for them)

This four-ingredient dish is easy to put together. It’s a great recipe to use when the kids want to help in the kitchen, because they can do all the prep work! Note that low-fat cream of chicken soup does not work well in this recipe.

Swiss chicken melt (1)Chicken Swiss Melt

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
1/4 lb. sliced Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs for topping

Spread a little soup on the bottom of your casserole dish. A small offset spatula, like ones used for decorating cakes, is perfect for this.

Place chicken on top of soup. Cover with Swiss cheese slices (if cheese slices are thin, double up!) Spread the rest of the soup over the chicken and cheese.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken and bake 5 minutes more. Serve over rice, and don’t skimp on the sauce!

Note:  Havarti cheese can be substituted for Swiss.

worth revisit

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!

Monday Recap: November 9, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

At CatholicMom.com

teriyaki salmon (3) c t smallerMeatless Friday: Teriyaki Salmon with Fried Rice. I’ve shared a quick and easy recipe for Teriyaki Salmon with Quick Fried Rice. Try this for your next Meatless Friday meal!

sacred readingBook Notes: Sacred Reading, the 2016 Guide to Daily Prayer. Why not begin the new Church year with a new prayer practice? Here I review Sacred Reading, a guide to lectio divina for the 2016 Church year.

At Cook and Count

cinn raisin 10 grain slices (2) T C10-Grain Cinnamon Raisin Bread. A healthier twist on cinnamon-raisin swirl bread, this makes fabulous toast. I can’t wait to try it as French toast! (It’s great for peanut-butter sandwiches too.)

Copyright 2015 Becky Campbell. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2015 Becky Campbell. All rights reserved.

Diabetes Awareness Month: A Parent’s Perspective. My friend Becky Campbell wrote this two years ago at my request. I was writing for a parenting blog and wanted to include some useful content about diabetes. 6 days after Becky’s post was published, TheKid was diagnosed. Becky has been a wonderful source of support to me and Hubs ever since. November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Know the signs; save a life.

Monday Recap: 10/5/2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

There’s been a lot of writing going on this week!

At CatholicMom.com:

PreK4 God Bless Our PopeA Catholic School Welcomes Pope Francis




1Progressive Dinner: Granma’s Rolls

Ranch TunaMacaroni Salad FI



Meatless Friday: Ranch Tuna Macaroni Salad



Saints for All Occasions FISaintly Greetings: Saints for All Occasions Cards



Stay with Me coverBook Notes: Stay With Me by Carolyn Astfalk (look for a longer review of this book on Saturday, right here!)






At Cook and Count:

Sally Magic Chicken T CSally’s Magic Chicken


Small Success: the Unplanned Week

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I’m just sitting here watching TheKid’s blood sugar levels; through the miracle of technology I can see just how he’s doing, even though he’s at school 3 1/2 miles away. It’s been a tough week in Diabetes Land, and he’s still not in a good place. But he’s at school.

Also through the miracle of technology, I am listening to the Pope addressing Congress. I am just in awe of the ways in which technology and social media have opened up the Papal visit to people who can’t be present at the events in person.

Some successes this week:

  • I didn’t blow a gasket when it was suggested that TheKid should not have eaten the donut (from a classmate’s birthday celebration) or drunk the soda (given him by the PTA ladies after the milk delivery was a no-show and they were scrambling to give the kids who’d paid for beverages something to drink. For the record, he did so well self-dosing his insulin for those things that his blood sugar was a perfect 105 at the end of the school day. Fighting this same battle again and again is frustrating. He can eat a donut every now and again. I’m proud that he was responsible and careful about self-dosing for an unexpected treat, and I’m happy for him because, for once, (and thanks to the miracle of technology in the form of an insulin pump) he got to just have his donut and not have to be singled out.
  • I didn’t lose my mind regarding those last-minute schedule changes that happen when a kid misses school. I managed to roll with it a whole lot better than I usually do.
  • I totally nailed a seat-of-the-pants recipe for beef noodles. I hope to get it written up over at Cook and Count soon. Since you can’t taste it, I’ll just give you a look:

beef noodles with pot roast C

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!


Monday Recap: 8/17/2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

At CatholicMom.com:

Book Notes: Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag

walk softly carry great bag

Here’s my review of Teresa Tomeo’s purse-sized devotional, Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag, and interview with the author. This is a book you’ll want to tuck into your favorite handbag!

Tech Talk: Never Miss a Homily Again

Good Friday Homily large

A growing number of priests and deacons have begun offering the text and/or audio recordings of their homilies online, so that people who didn’t get to hear the whole thing can catch up later–and people who want to prayerfully review it can do that as well.

Book Notes: Saint Clare–beyond the legend


My review of a biography of St. Clare that delves deeper into the significance of her life rather than following a timeline.

At Cook and Count:

spicy honey chicken (1)c TITLEOn the Grill: Spicy Honey Chicken

sesame tahini cookies (4) TITLE smallerSesame Tahini Cookies

At Dynamic Women of Faith:

catholic drinkie book

My review of The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Home Brewed Evangelism by Sarah Vabulas.

At Real Housekeeping:

big batch savvy spaghetti and meatballs RHBig Batch Savvy Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Try the recipe–and join the discussion in the comments box about roaster ovens!

Monday Recap: August 10, 2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing


This was show week for The Kid’s theatre camp, which meant several extra trips (20 minutes each way) and working the concession stand for 2 shows and a cast party AND auditions for the next production. There hasn’t been much writing OR cooking this week.

But there was a little “stress baking” yesterday between that cast party and audition.

At Cook and Count:

spicy pecan ranger cookies TITLE (3)

Cookie Time: Spicy Pecan Ranger Cookies

At CatholicMom.com:

shrimp fajitas (11)c for FI

Meatless Friday: Shrimp Fajitas with Cool Corn Salad

sesame tahini cookies (4) FI

Book Review: Around the Table with the Catholic Foodie: Middle Eastern Cuisine

Monday Tuesday Recap 6/23/2015

Monday Recap-What I've been writing


“Summer vacation” may just be the death of my schedule–and it’s just gotten started!

Here’s what I’ve been writing this past week:

At CatholicMom.com

Eat, Drink and Evangelize: A Review of the Catholic Drinkie’s New Book

Sunday Brunch Specials for June 21

At Cook and Count

Spent-Grain Bread: a companion recipe for the Catholic Drinkie’s book

spent grain bread (5) CM FI

Eat, Drink and Evangelize: A Book Review and a Recipe

catholic drinkie bookIn just one book, you’ll get Church history, Gospel stories, patron saints, prayers, quotes from G.K. Chesterton, social-media advice and recipes for beer. Sarah Vabulas has managed to blend all of this–and more–together to create The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Homebrewed Evangelism. And she puts it together in an entertaining manner, with plenty of good humor and common-sense advice.

I definitely get where Sarah is coming from in section 3 of this book (Responsibly and Successfully Building Community.) My own love language is food. I love to cook and bake for people. But while I love recipes, I love her message about evangelization even more (and I think a lot of it applies to food as well as what Jeopardy refers to as “potent potables”).

Sarah is honest and real about the pitfalls of social-media use and all-the-time evangelization that isn’t backed up enough by personal prayer. As an introvert, I am in awe of her ability to

“go out to dinner and strike up a conversation with a neighboring patron, acknowledging his dignity and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide my words and actions. This is the call of the New Evangelization. This is how we say ‘yes’ to the Lord in our everyday lives.” (p. 99)

Sarah describes her hobby of homebrewing beer as another way to build community. It can be a group process, which makes the job more fun–and she also finds opportunities to share her faith with her friends during the process. It’s also an opportunity to make gifts for others, sharing one’s own talents and interests while paying attention to what our loved ones enjoy so that we can craft the perfect gift.

spent grain 2 cRegarding the section of the book that includes recipes for homebrewed beer, I do disagree with Sarah’s assertion that you can’t brew 5-gallon batches of beer in an apartment. My older son does this–and he’s the reason I had a container of dried spent grain at the ready to experiment with bread recipes. Spent grain is a by-product of the beer-brewing process, and frugal brewers have discovered that you can use it in cooking. My own experiments in baking with spent grain affirm what I’ve read online–you can’t make the spent grain much more than 10% of your recipe’s total grain content.

Brewing beer actually has quite a bit in common with baking bread, and not just because both of them involve yeast and grain. They also both involve what Sarah refers to as “hurry-up-and-wait activity,” but when you brew beer, you have to wait a couple of weeks to sample your finished product!

spent grain bread (5) CM FII created this recipe for spent-grain bread as an homage to Sarah’s work. If she lived closer, I’d share a loaf with her. There’s a reason many of my bread recipes make 2 loaves: one for the family, one to share!

Spent-Grain Bread

makes 2 loaves

1 3/4 cups warm water
2 TBL butter
3 TBL honey
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup dried spent grain
1 TBL active dry yeast

Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Use the dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to a floured surface. Divide in half and shape into loaves. Place loaves in prepared bread pans. Cut 2 or 3 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Allow to rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 and bake 35 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

spent grain bread (6)c

Order your copy of The Catholic Drinkie’s Guide to Homebrewed Evangelism using my affiliate link and you’ll support my reading and cooking habit with your purchase–but you pay nothing extra!

Monday Recap: 5/18/15

Monday Recap-What I've been writing

I had to take the “Morning” out of the Monday Recap, because it just wasn’t happening.

Here’s what I’ve been working on this week:

At CatholicMom.com:

Catholic-TV-appTech Talk: Must-See Catholic TV, a look at an app that gives you all 99 of CatholicTV’s programs!


At Cook and Count:

trinity rice with almonds c squareSuper Sides: Trinity Rice with Almonds is a great way to transform leftover rice into something new and delicious.



new Pyrex designAn Open Letter to Pyrex was written because this is one of those times when “new and improved” doesn’t work out that way. I need more precision in measuring devices than Pyrex’s new design offers.

At Real Housekeeping:

SS-Chicken-with-Snow-Peas-FB1Scrumptious Spring! Chicken with Snow Peas is today’s featured recipe. Skip the takeout–this cooks in less time than it takes to steam the rice.

Small Success and Cupcakes Too!

Small Success dark blue outline 800x800Thursdays at CatholicMom.com begin with a look at the past week’s Small Successes!

I’m coming to the end of the third week in a row of Hubs’ business trips to Kansas. I’ll find out later today if this is the end of it for a while. I sure hope so!


I got the chipped windshield on Hubs’ car fixed–for free! Turns out our insurance company covers those repairs with no deductible. A friend of mine recommended a good auto glass shop, so Monday morning I headed over there and sat in the Wi-Fi-equipped waiting room, helping an elderly Filipino couple navigate the Keurig machine and getting an interesting glimpse of human nature while watching Let’s Make a Deal.

It beats The View, anyway, which is what’s usually on when I’m stuck in waiting rooms.


I’m a little sleep-deprived this morning (3 glucose alarms last night, requiring 12 oz. of apple juice and a Double Stuf Oreo. I think the cookie did the trick) but I managed not to lose my mind and yell when The Kid missed the bus. His sleep was interrupted too–by me, yelling at him to wake up so he could drink juice. He’s really hard to wake up when his sugar goes low.

So I drove him to school, then swung by Wawa to get a roll for my lunch (I have leftover meatballs in the fridge) and a free cup of coffee, because today is Wawa Day. I’m grateful for the caffeine.

turtle cupcake 2-3-

I baked. Last night at folk group practice we celebrated two birthdays. We can celebrate in style because we practice in my living room, so it’s perfectly OK to have treats after we’re done singing. My creation for last night’s treats: Salted Caramel Turtle Cupcakes.

They’re good. Really good.

Share your Small Successes at CatholicMom.com by joining the linkup in the bottom of today’s post. No blog? List yours in the comments box!

© 2015 Barb Szyszkiewicz