INGREDIENTS LIST FOR THE BROCCOLI CAULIFLOWER SOUP
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped small and rinsed
3 cups cauliflower florets, chopped small and rinsed
1 cup carrots, diced ( optional for low-carb, keto diet)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups (1.5l) vegetable broth
1 (15oz – 420g) can diced tomatoes, drained (or 4 tomatoes, diced)
1 tablespoon Italian dried herbs
A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
1. In a large pot or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook stirring occasionally for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to combine all of the flavors together.
3. Stir in the rinsed broccoli and cauliflower florets, and continue to simmer gently until cooked through but still crunchy, approx. 5 minutes.
4. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, garnish with parmesan and fresh parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Recipe note: If you want to thicken the soup a little, mix 1 tablespoon coconut flour or cornstarch with 1/4 cup (125ml) cold water then add to the soup 5 minute before the end of cooking time.
Proverbs 31 could certainly be intimidating if we don’t remember that it is an ideal. As we’ve been looking at this virtuous woman we come to verse 17 where she girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms for the day. Spiritually we should strengthen ourselves daily by starting our day in thanksgiving, prayer and reading the Word. By doing this we are giving Jesus the firstfruit of our day and allowing Him to have reign of our day. When I start my day with the Lord, He is always in the forefront of my mind, and in every thought and decision! I get excited when I know He is leading and directing my day! Even when things don’t go the way I hoped for, He always has a better plan for me and His grace is sufficient!
This virtuous woman considers the ways of her family before her own desires. She will stay up late to make sure the house is in order and everything is ready for morning before retiring. It’s not that she doesn’t get tired, it’s just that she is selfless. She relies on the Lord’s strength, esteeming others higher than herself.
We are blessed to read of this ideal woman, yet we know Jesus loves us just the way we are. Day by day we grow in His grace. I pray your heart’s desire is more of Him and less of me!
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (add until desired consistency/firmness)
ground cinnamon sprinkled on top (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat the 2 cups of butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder,baking soda,salt,the 1 teaspoon cinnamon,and the nutmeg. Beat until combined. Beat in the eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in as much of the four as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
2. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops are set. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
3. For frosting, in a small saucepan heat the 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until melted and smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on cookies. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
The Virtuous woman sounds like a superhero, who finds enough time in the day to get absolutely everything done! As most of the above tasks weren’t completed in just one day (or even one week), we see how much work is involved in wisely managing a home. Take comfort in knowing that God recognizes here just how long your “to do” list is.
I love the poetic language that is used in these verses. Back then wool & flax were daily essentials. A Virtuous Woman knows how to find the necessities for her home and her family. She willingly works with her hands in practical ways. She is not proud or haughty, thinking that certain tasks are beneath her. On the contrary, all her work is done with a cheerful heart. Her love and care extends beyond her immediate family but is showered on those around her. The Virtuous Woman is forward thinking in prayerfully preparing to better her family’s future. You’ll notice in this Proverb, not once does it talk about what she can gain or what benefits her, its always about others. I love the selfless example that the Virtuous Woman is, that no matter how tired or spent she might be, she is others minded in her actions. Just like our Savior.
If you don’t have a family or are still waiting on promises of the Lord, you can still aim to be a Virtuous Woman in your everyday life. You don’t have to be a wife or a mother to be a woman of excellence and strength. Daughters of the King should desire to be Virtuous Women as unto the Lord. Cheerfully serve the Lord with your life. Work and do your daily tasks as unto Him with all your heart. Love those around you, your family, friends, and the little girls looking up to you. And pray for those big dreams that you are still waiting on to come true!
I daily fail, my selfish desires creep in and my want for sleep often wins over rising early and getting a start on my daily tasks. I fail to have food on the table in time for dinner almost every night. If you can relate, don’t be discouraged. The Virtuous Woman wasn’t perfect and her house wasn’t what we all want and see on Pinterest. I think there were days where she left the dishes in the sink or made ramen noodles for dinner. But the most important thing was that her strength rested in the Lord. She lives her life fearing Him and following Him with all her heart, which is the key to living a virtuous life.
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
fine sea salt, to taste
1. Slice your sweet potatoes into long, thin strips, about 1/4-inch wide. It’s important that the fries are uniformly sized for even cooking. Add the fries to a large bowl of cold water and soak for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet (or two medium baking sheets*) with parchment paper, or mist with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Drain the fries, rinse out and dry your bowl of water, then blot dry the fries with a clean towel.
4. Add the fries back to the clean bowl**. Then drizzle evenly with the olive oil, and toss until they are evenly coated.
5. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika and black pepper until combined. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bowl of fries, then toss until the fries are evenly coated and the cornstarch has soaked into the oil.
6. Spread the fries out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Be sure that the fries aren’t overlapping, or else they will not cook evenly.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove pan from oven, and take the time to flip each fry with a spatula. Rearrange so that the fries are evenly spaced and not overlapping again. Then bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until the fries are crispy and have begun to brown a bit on the tips.
9. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the fries rest for 5 minutes. Then sprinkle with your desired amount of salt and serve warm.
*If you need to spread the fries out between two baking sheets, be sure to switch their positions on the top and bottom oven shelves at the halfway point when you flip the fries.
**Or you can do this step in a large ziplock bag, if you prefer, which makes the fries a bit easier to toss with the cornstarch mixture.