Hazelnut Spread Cookie Bars

There’s no better time of year to bake than in winter. (Ok, fresh-baked goodies are amazing all year. I admit it, but there’s something about the warmth of the kitchen while you’re baking that shuts out the cold of winter.

This is a great recipe to add to your baking repertoire, too. The crunchy crust that makes its base is wonderfully buttery and yummy, and you can’t go wrong with hazelnut spread as your frosting. You can use the name brand, though I used our store brand and it was pretty amazing. I may or may not have sampled some straight out of the container just to make sure.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 small jars hazelnut spread

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, drown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla.

3. Slowly add in flour and salt. Mix until combined.

4. Scrape mixture into baking dish and press firmly to cre…

With Wings As Eagles

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

My "Do Something Amazing" Planner Layout

I can already tell you that I’m going to need a lot of encouragement this week. Since taking this picture of my weekly planner layout, I’ve already written in a root canal on Tuesday followed by a board meeting and youth group on Wednesday.

Any one of those would be a matter of serious prayer, but back-to-back-to-back is a little more serious.

So it’s a very good thing that my “Do Something Amazing” planner layout is ready to give me the cheerleading routine that I’m going to need the next few days. With reminders like “Let’s Go Girl,” “You Are Enough” and “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans,” there are encouraging words in every margin.

It’s also super important to me to have spots on every layout to record my spiritual growth for the week. There is a block at the very top of the left page for a verse that means something special, a few words from God that lift me up and keep me moving. And at youth group we’ll be talking about obeying God and following His di…

The Property Turns White With Snow

While other people are complaining about the cold and the snow all over the Midwest this weekend, I'm thrilled! I adore the snow and the bright white of a winter storm. And when our backyard looks like this the morning after the night before, it's difficult for me to do anything but sit by the window.

 We have maybe 4 or 5 inches of snow on the ground, but it drizzled overnight, so now there is a thick crust of ice over everything. The babies have enjoyed running and breaking it, but Molly wants nothing to do with this cold winter stuff.

 Both ponds have frozen over, too, but Danny saw an eagle earlier this week. There have also been several hawks, which are so much fun to watch fly against the wind. This is also the best time to check out the animal tracks on the snow and ice, just to see what's awake and moving about in the cold.

Starting With A Blank Canvas

In what area of your life would you love to have a blank canvas? A perfectly clear spot where you can do whatever you need to do?

For me, it is a completely empty living room. I took down all our Christmas decorations, cleared out the furniture and attacked the carpet with no mercy. And yes, that's blowing snow outside the window. It was the perfect day for being inside accomplishing things.

There's something about an empty room, a blank piece of paper and clean plate that makes me smile. Not because there's nothing there, but because there is untapped potential. I can create to my heart's content, carefully arranging things and making a finished product I'm proud of.

In my living room situation, I rearranged furniture (one of my favorite pastimes) and cleaned everything I could get my hands on. With four dogs, it's so important to keep up with the dog hair and dust so we can stay healthy. Plus, the "Great Dane Glitter" gets on everything. The room f…

Pan-Seared Beef Flank Steaks

I’ve never been a huge beef eater. I usually prefer seafood or pork when given the option, and steak especially has never been on the top of my list. But we get a Butcher Box subscription package every month, and I’m teaching myself some new recipes and techniques for all that meat.
That’s how I’ve learned that I really do like beef. Not in large quantities, but when it’s cooked well it’s pretty amazing. Here’s just one of the ways I love to prepare our steaks, and I hope you love it too!
Ingredients:  2 10-oz beef flank steaks Olive oil Your favorite steak seasoning blend
1. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Move the rack to the highest position you can and still get a skillet in.
2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.
3. When pan and oil are hot, liberally season one side of the steaks and place that side down in the skillet. Sear for two minutes.
4. Season the second side of the steak and flip. Sear for two minutes.
5. Using a pair of tongs, sear the edges of the steak until…