For the love of God, family, and pasta!

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthian 13:1

You’ve read the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman, right?  If you haven’t, you SHOULD. This book points out that all people express love in different ways, and therefore also expect or infer it differently.  So one might think their significant other doesn’t love them very much, but the truth may be that the love is just expressed in an unrecognized way.  The goal is to figure out your own love language (how you are most likely to express and interpret love) and also the love languages of those who are closest to you. I’m getting ready to read it again, probably with my children in mind this time rather than my husband (we read it together a while back).  It’s good.  And insightful.

If I could add a sixth love language, it would be food.  Seriously.  And if you read my previous blog, which was almost 365 posts about food, you would believe me.  My husband says that food (or rather, cooking for someone) clearly falls under the “gifts” category of the five languages.  This is probably true since “gifts” came out as my top love language when we read the book together.  I love food.  I am what some call a “foodie”, and please don’t let the fact that I’m sitting in bed devouring a DQ blizzard right now fool you; my taste in food is somewhat sophisticated.  (But I am only human. And female. And ice cream is perfection.)  And even though my husband didn’t make this ice cream for me, he bought it for me, which makes it so much better than if I had gotten it myself. So I guess food is a love language.  Anything made (or purchased) with someone else in mind is a beautiful thing.  And this is why I love to cook.  I love to create a meal with someone else in mind and watch them enjoy it.  It is my gift to them.  A few months ago we had a couple over for dinner and when they left, Randy looked at me and said, “You made that meal for the wife, didn’t you?”  He knew I had her in mind when I planned and cooked the meal I served.  Cooking and giving/receiving gifts; they are truly my top love languages.  But that’s not the only reason I cook , or write about cooking.  I just LOVE it.  I really do.  I love planning our meals for the week.  I love standing in the kitchen over the stove and stirring a pot of something that smells so divine I almost want to bathe in it.  I love the sound of sizzling vegetables.  I love the thought of the food hitting the pan just before the butter turns brown and knowing that the flavor will be impeccable.  I love knowing that I can save and store my bacon fat and re-use it to make my apple fritters taste ten times better than if I cook them in plain, old vegetable oil.  I love cooking food, I love eating food, and I especially love sharing food.

This blog is almost a continuation of my previous year-long online journey.  That blog started as just a food blog.  And in the end, I had a collection of posts that went deeper than the kitchen table: posts about life and love, our home renovation, home-schooling (preschool) with Abby, and more.  So I’m here now to pick up where I left off, and write about it all, but still put emphasis on the food.  Because… FOOD!  The internet is a great place for sharing ideas and getting inspiration.  I want a place where I can write about what’s happening in my life and the life of my family.  I want to hear from others who can relate, and I’d love to inspire similar creativity in those who are interested.  A blog like this truly is a window.  When I started my last one, I asked my husband for permission because I knew it would be opening a window into not just our kitchen, but our lives.  Turns out, it was fun for both of us.  And when it ended, I heard from countless people about the disappointment they felt at not knowing what we were having for supper every night anymore!  This blog will not be quite as frequent, so hopefully less strenuous on us, but it will offer the same insight into our lives.  It will be the “verbal” depiction of how we try to raise our children to know Jesus.  And it will include some yummy recipes and fun party ideas along the way!

The name may seem cliche, but it really is the perfect way to describe what I want to write about–everything I love.  I don’t just want to write about what I love, I want to write with love.  “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord, and not for men.” Colossians 3:23.  I don’t just cook or homeschool or anything else simply because I want to, but I do believe God has called me to.  I’ve had a few conversations with friends lately about how we hear the phrase, “Oh, I could never do that!” from people regarding some of the things we do; homeschool, foster children, own/operate a business, etc.  And our feelings are always the same: we don’t feel like we could do it, either!  We just know God is asking us to, and we’re obeying.  I firmly believe God has asked me to homeschool my children for now, and I might get into more details about that in another post.  And believe it or not, it’s the same with cooking.  God gave me this passion for food, creativity, and trying new things in the kitchen, so it’s my duty to use it to the best of my ability in the role He has me in.  That’s why I cook.  And I write about it because I see and have seen a desire among my acquaintances for more/better recipes in their repertoire.  And I want to write about the other things we do in our home so that others might be inspired as well. Sharing the good news with our children is one of our most important charges as parents, but sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to do things that will make it stick.

There was a song I used to hear as a teen called “For the Love of God” by Rebecca St. James. The chorus had a line that went, “For the love of God; let this be my motivation…”  Not a bad line to have stuck in your head for a day!  So welcome to my new blog, and I hope you enjoy it!

And with that, let me leave you with a recipe for another love of mine…. pasta!  This dish is one that I love, love, LOVE!  It’s so easy to make and very addictive.  Randy made it for me countless times during the 3rd trimester of my most recent pregnancy and I made it again a few nights ago.  Enjoy!  (And guess what?!  I now have handy-dandy printables!!!  You’ll find one at the end of the recipe.) 🙂

IMG_9493

Penne with Spicy Sausage in Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce

1 lb penne rigateIMG_9494
1 pkg hot Italian sausage
1⁄2 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 TB butter
8 oz tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup vodka or dry white wine             1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup fresh basil, torn, or julienned
shaved parmesan cheese

Cook the penne to al dente in salted, boiling water.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven or heavy saucepan, brown the sausage links for a few minutes. They don’t have to be fully cooked when you remove them. Take them out of the pan and slice them into 1⁄4 inch medalions.

Add the chopped onions and garlic to the pan with a tablespoon of butter. Cook about 1-2 minutes, then add the sausage medalions back to the pan and finish cooking them.

Add the vodka or white wine and cook 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and heavy cream. Stir. Drain the pasta and add it to the sausage sauce. Mix everything until well combined. Add the chopped fresh basil. Serve in shallow bowls or plates and shave parmesan cheese on top.

IMG_9495

Here’s that printable I mentioned:

blog post 1 penne with tomato vodka sauce

 

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