Welcome to Living from My Abundance

welcomedeck

We all have an abundance of something, and sometimes we see our own abundance better through the eyes of someone else. We were put on this earth to share, to love, to give and to grow. Let’s live from our abundance together. And leave the legacy we are called to leave. Keep reading for tips, ramblings, recipes and more.

Advertisements

French Dip Sandwiches

 

One of my absolute FAVORITE sandwiches EVER!!

1 3-lb. (ish) pound beef roast
½ c. soy sauce
1 c. beef broth
1 bay leaf
3-4 peppercorns
1 t. dried rosemary
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. garlic powder
1 c. water
6-8 hoagie rolls

Combine all ingredients except the roast and the rolls. Pour over trimmed roast in slow cooker.

Cook on low 10-12 hours.

Serve on rolls with sauce for dipping.

NOTE: This dish can be prepared with a frozen OR fresh roast. The roast can be thawed when it goes into the slow cooker OR placed in the slow cooker while still frozen. The leftover meat also freezer beautifully if you ever want to make a double batch to have some prepared meat in the freezer.

ANOTHER NOTE: My FAVORITE way to eat this is to have some cooked onions and Swiss cheese to put on top. I usually toast this sandwich, open-faced, under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly, and then commence eating with a knife and fork. YUM!!

Italian Beef Sandwiches

 

This is definitely a special-occasion recipe for our family, and it’s also one of my favorite ways to prepare a beef roast!  I just put one of these in the freezer to pull out during the holidays.  Woo hoo!

1 3-4 lb. beef roast
1 jar pepperoncini or banana peppers
1 T. dried, minced onion
2 t. Italian seasoning
2 t. garlic salt
½ t. pepper
¼ c. water
1 ½ c. mozzarella cheese, grated
sturdy sandwich buns

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 8-9 hours until meat is tender. Shred with two forks. Spoon meat onto toasted buns; top with mozzarella cheese, if desired.

Beef Burrito Filling

This recipe can not only be used for burritos, but is perfect for taco salads, enchiladas, nachos, chimichangas and more.  This is one of my favorite homemade convenience foods to pull from the freezer.

2 lbs. ground beef
1 t. salt
2 t. minced garlic or 1 t. garlic powder
2 t. cumin
2 t. oregano
1 small can chopped green chilies
½ c. taco sauce or enchilada sauce
½ c. sour cream
¼ c. apple cider vinegar

In medium skillet, cook beef, salt, garlic and spices until meat loses its pinkness.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Serve inside tortillas, on taco salad or in taco shells with whatever other fixin’s you like.

NOTE: When re-heating after frozen, allow to simmer on stovetop about 8-10 minutes in order to allow the sharpness of the vinegar to mellow.

Ham & Cheese Sliders

This recipe captured my kids’ attention at a potluck.  The loved them!  I made a few changes, like eliminating the brown sugar and substituting swiss cheese, and I now include them in my Power Cooking classes as well as in some of our family’s special occasions.  They’re a fun recipe to have on-hand for munching when company comes or even on family movie nights.

If well-wrapped, the freeze quite nicely–especially if used within a month or so.

¾ c. melted butter
1 ½ T. Dijon mustard
1 ½ T. Worcestershire sauce
1T. poppy seeds
1 T. dried, minced onion
12 slider buns OR mini Hawaaian-type rolls
1 lb. thinly-sliced ham
2-3 c. grated Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9×13” baking dish.
In small bowl, combine butter, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds and dried onion.

Separate tops from bottoms of buns, placing the bottoms in prepared baking dish. Top evenly with ham and cheese. Place bun tops over ham and cheese. Pour sauce evenly over rolls.

Separate tops from bottoms of buns, placing the bottoms in prepared baking dish. Top evenly with ham and cheese. Place bun tops over ham and cheese. Pour sauce evenly over rolls.

Chicken Enchilada Dip

This easy appetizer is great with or without the chicken.  It can also be paired with a salad and eaten as a meal.  It’s a great make-ahead, because it refrigerates and freezes well.

 

2 c. cooked, shredded chicken
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 c. shredded cheese
1 t. minced garlic
1 ½ T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. oregano
cayenne pepper to taste
1 can black beans, drained (Feel free to leave these out if you don’t want them.)
4 green onions, chopped
10-oz. can chopped green chilies

Mix cheeses together; add seasonings & mix well.

Cover & refrigerate overnight.

Heat in slow cooker, in microwave, in oven or on stovetop until ingredients are warm and gooey.

Serve with tortilla chips or sturdy vegetable dippers.

Artichoke Dip

There are so many variations of this dip.  This one is quite tasty and freezes beautifully.

12 oz. jar marinated artichokes, drained & chopped
½ c. mayo
1 ½ c. grated Parmesan
1 ½ c. grated mozzarella
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 t. onion powder
2-4 cloves minced garlic
½ t. salt
½ t. pepper

Combine all ingredients; spread in greased 9×13” baking dish.

Bake at 350 40-45 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve with crackers or veggies.

Commit

Twenty years ago, I was in a miserable marriage.  We fought constantly.  There was verbal and emotional abuse.  There was mistrust, misbehavior and a strong belief on my part that our marriage had been a big mistake.

Eventually, I decided to leave him.  I was over the heartache and the sorrow and the unrealized expectations.  Aside from my mom and one other little old lady in my life, I came up against almost no opposition.  On the contrary, my break from this miserable circumstance was greeted with celebration!  My actions were justified by my right to be happy, to live independently and to look out for myself.  It was such a tremendous relief to me.  After doing battle with my husband for 2 1/2 years, I had no desire to do battle with anyone else.

I reveled in my newly-found freedom.  Having married young, I had never lived on my own.  I loved almost everything about it, and I embraced the opportunity to “find myself” and to live for me for a change.  It was wonderful!  I found a lawyer and filed the paperwork.  I would soon be free from one of the biggest mistakes I’d ever made.  My relief was practically palpable.

In the months that followed, I initially pretty much did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.  Six months later, the freedom and excitement I had initially felt began to fade, and I started to feel something different:  bondage and regret.  I had already been angry with my husband–consistently and violently so.  I had heaped a mountain of blame at his feet, and I had no problem hurling accusations at him.  He had not been honest.  He had not been kind.  He had not been who he’d led me to believe he was.  Eventually, though, my anger found a new target; I became angry with myself.  Interestingly, this turn of events just renewed my attack on my husband.  If I was at all to blame, it was obviously because of him!  At this point, I was almost completely fueled by my emotions.  I had honestly allowed myself to stop thinking and just feel my way through life.  It was a vulnerable, chaotic season.

Enter God’s grace.  During this time of brokenness, He did a few things for me that changed the course of my heart.

  1. He helped me to feel the consequences of my actions.  I began to see how the divorce would affect my relationships with my extended family, my in-laws and friends.  It was one of the most painful revelations of my life.
  2. He allowed me to go to Alaska and spend 3 weeks with a dear friend and her parents.  Not only did this remove me from some negative influences, it put me in the direct line of the very positive influence of a couple who had been married 30 years and was still very much in love.  I began to yearn for that kind of love.
  3. He allowed some very unhealthy relationships to fall apart.
  4. After my time in Alaska, I went to sign the divorce papers that I had filed.  As I stared at my husband’s signature, my heart broke a little bit more.  I felt a sorrow deeper than any I’d ever felt.  I told my lawyer that I’d never imagined myself in this position.  She looked at me with compassion in her eyes and replied, “Trista, if you ask me, Indiana has more than its share of divorces.  You don’t have to do this”.

Fortunately, my husband had been brought to a place of brokenness and repentance before me.  He was ready to put the pieces of our marriage back together.  He willingly forgave things a husband should never have to forgive.  He lovingly welcomed his very broken wife back into the protection of his arms.  It was a humbling time for me, one that I still cannot remember without tears of shame and sorrow.

Rebuilding and reconnecting was not easy.  It was sheer determination in our commitment to one another and our faith in God that brought us through.  I learned that marriage was not about me being happy or in my needs being met.  It was about me becoming who God wanted me to be for my spouse.  As I learned to die to my own “needs”, God provided all of my needs.  It was a strange paradox.

God never said He wanted me to be happy.  God did say that He wanted me to have His peace and His joy.  These latter qualities are deep-seated and lasting–strong enough to withstand the valleys of sorrow.  I have often said that I don’t pray that my kids will be happy.  I pray that they will choose the joy and peace that come from Christ.  Anything else is just not good enough.

Next month, my husband and I will celebrate 22 years of marriage.  Has it always been easy?  Um, not even close.  Has it been worth it?  Rewarding?  Exciting?  Challenging?  Fulfilling?  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!  If given the opportunity, I would marry him all over again.  (Although I hope I would do those first three years very differently!)

When I go to bridal showers, I am often asked to share my best marital advice for the bride-to-be.  I see the women cringe when my advice is read aloud, because, well, it’s just a little too…direct for that kind of setting.  However, it’s what I believe to be true.  Without the awkwardness of 15 other women listening to our conversation, I will share it with you now:  To truly make your marriage last, commit to it.  Build your foundation, set your course and grit your teeth through all of the tough days…because there will be tough days–days when you can’t stand the sight of each other.  Determine to stay married.  Resolve to stand firm.  Refuse to give in.  Commit.