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Sheet Pan Meatloaf And My Other Favorite Comfort Foods

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Did you ever have one of those days where you just needed comfort food? The kind that tastes wonderful and fills you up and just makes you happy? The food itself may be different for each of us, but the results are the same - comfort and contentment. For me, it’s a pretty simple comfort meal: meatloaf, green bean casserole and baked beans. Throw a little fruit on the side to make it even better.  It’s a classic casserole recipe that I’ve been using for years: two cans of French style green beans drained, mixed with one can of cream of celery soup and about a cup of French-fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, top with more onions and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until all warm and bubbly. The beans take literally no time at all. They’re Bush’s Grillin’ Beans, bourbon and brown sugar, and they’re my absolute favorites. Easy as that. And never again will I make meatloaf in a loaf pan. I’m just sayin’. Once I cooked this meatloaf recipe on a sheet pan, it was like I had disc

Words For Wednesday

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God’s Love Is So Much Bigger

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Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be difficult times of year for many people. They may have lost a parent, are separated from them or never knew them to begin with. In our youth group, we have teenagers who are in foster care, don’t know who one of their parents is, or have both parents but have incredibly difficult and dramatic relationships with them. That’s why it was so important for us to share a lesson about God’s love on Mother’s Day Sunday. I struggled with how to present Scripture about how wonderful mothers can be with kids who have broken relationships with theirs. So we started with mothers and then took it one step further. If you hold your balled up fist to your chest, that’s about how big your heart is. For all the emotion and pain it puts us through, you’d think it would be much bigger, but it’s really just a small part of your anatomy. Now think about the amount of love you have stored up in your heart, and how much love you share with others - I’m guessing it’s a lot!

My “Let’s Use A Whole Bunch Of Random Supplies” Planner Layout

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I can’t begin to tell you how tempted I was to make a trip to Hobby Lobby last week. They had several sales going on, and the pull was strong to just go look. Look, I tell you, look! But I resisted the temptation - thank you, Lord - and shopped from my own stash here at home. The result was a fun page that used up several pages of embellishments. You probably know the feeling of flipping through your craft supplies and finding little bits and pieces here and there. They’re not really enough to do a whole project, so they go in a collection to deal with later. That’s what I did with my sticker books, pulling out a few pages that had three or four little pieces left. Those all combined into a beautiful collage of colors and patterns that ended up working together perfectly.   There are now a few empty sticker pages in the trash can and a little more room in my sticker book bucket, so that makes me happy. And I didn’t give in and buy supplies I don’t really need, which is also a very good

The Never-Ending Saga Of Beavers On The Carrell Wildlife Preserve

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  From a distance, our pond looks like a quiet, tranquil place to relax and let the worries of the world melt away. But what you can’t see is the fierce battle we’re fighting with a pair of beavers. How do we know it’s beavers? There are a few clear signs. Sign #1 - the dam they feel it necessary to build across the drain. If we can’t hear the water rushing through it, we know the beavers have been busy that day. Sign #2 - the mysterious disappearance of bushes and trees. It’s super important that we protect as much of our timber as we can, and the beavers go through it so quickly! See their little teeth marks on the stumps of what’s left of a bush? They’re getting down as far as they can so they have big branches to works with. Work on what, you ask? Sign #3 - their ever-enlarging den. They have two or three places under the banks of the pond where they like to hide, but this is their central location. Every time we go down, there are new expansion projects around this area. They’re l

Words For Wednesday

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Very Cherry Quick Bread

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Cherry is one of my absolute favorite flavors in the entire world. I always add cherries to an ice cream sundae, I’ll occasionally have a cherry coke and I’ve been known to eat maraschino cherries right out of the jar ... just because I can. That’s why this cherry quick bread is so amazing. It has chopped cherries in it, and the frosting is made from the cherry juice. Cheers to cherries! Ingredients: 1 3/4 cup flour 1 cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 tsp vanilla 1 10-oz jar maraschino cherries Cream cheese frosting 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two loaf pans with nonstick spray. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, packing powder and salt. 3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. 4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Batter will be thick and heavy. 5. Drain cherry juice from jar into a small bowl. Pour almost all of the juice into the batter bowl, reserving about 1/8 cup to add t