Stewardship: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Colored Eggs 3

My word for the year is Stewardship. One place where that word is really coming alive is in our kitchen. The 40 Days of Soups experiment we just completed grew out of my desire to become a better steward of my family’s nutrition. It’s working! It’s working! And maybe one day soon I’ll find some margin to write about that … working on becoming a better steward of how I use my time, too. But first, let me wrap up my Easter post from last week.

During Lent, I spotted a few recipes for natural Easter egg dyes floating about Facebook — a good extension of my stewardship goals. I thought, . . . → Read More: Stewardship: Natural Easter Egg Dyes

Laboring Through Lent

Black Bean Butternut Squash Soup

Today we wrap up our Lenten Soup and Stories series with a terrific post from Marcia Mattern about the spiritual similarities between Lent and pregnancy. “Forty days, forty weeks (or in my case more like 41 or 42 weeks!) Waiting and waiting for that baby, waiting and waiting for Easter.” And we’re also treated to a soup recipe that Marcia prepared right before welcoming Baby #6! . . . → Read More: Laboring Through Lent

Tortellini Making Day

Tortellini Making Day

Today’s guest post comes from a very special person in our lives — our daughter Lydia’s godmother Maria Campbell. Since we both live in the Des Moines area, readers might think we have a longstanding friendship. That isn’t exactly true. We actually “met” through the pages of this very site. Joel and I were in the midst of getting the infant loss ministry up and running, and well, you can read Maria’s story here to understand why we connected. She’s such a valuable resource, and more important, both Maria and her husband Mark have become tremendous spiritual friends.

Maria’s blog is Our Heavenly Homestead, where she writes about her family’s journey to . . . → Read More: Tortellini Making Day

Julie’s Cajun Crawfish Soup

Julie Baldwin

Today’s Soup & Stories contribution comes from Julie Baldwin, the Editor-in-chief at Ignitum Today who blogs at The Corner with a View. A Midwesterner by birth, Julie currently lives in the South with her husband and baby. She has embraced southern living AND southern cooking and today shares her Cajun crawfish soup recipe. Lucky us! I’m not even a fish person, but I find this one quite intriguing! Oh, one more thing. Please allow me to publicly congratulate Julie for being the first, and most likely only, person to ever use the praise “Slap Ya Mama” here in this space. . . . → Read More: Julie’s Cajun Crawfish Soup

Resilient. And Delicious.


Shortly after bringing home my son Jude from the hospital, a package arrived in the mail. The return address on the package indicated it was from Trendy Traditions. Now if I hadn’t been recovering from a c-section, I would have jumped up and down in excitement because I knew … I just knew … that whatever was inside would make me smile. And boy did it ever. If you aren’t familiar with Trendy Traditions, now is the perfect time to learn more. TT is the work of husband and wife, Joseph & Melanie Gillespie, and they offer stunning made-to-order rosaries. But don’t just take my word for it; check out . . . → Read More: Resilient. And Delicious.

Ew Stew (otherwise known as Caldo Gallego)


Today’s Soup & Stories post is sure to make you smile. And by the time you’re finished reading, your tummy may be growling for this Spanish soup, too!

The recipe comes from María Morera Johnson whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the Catholic New Media Conferences. At the first conference Joel and I attended, there were several “Lisas” in attendance. Maria joked about taking on Lisa as her alias for that weekend, but really, the Lisas might have fared better to take on Maria. (You know, a form of Mary and all, as in our Blessed Mother!) Maria has a great story behind her birth name, María Begoña. Her mother is Basque . . . → Read More: Ew Stew (otherwise known as Caldo Gallego)

When Mama’s Kitchen is a Research Lab


Today’s Soup & Stories post comes from Stacy Trasancos who shares a recipe for Rustic Butternut Squash Soup that feeds a family of seven for a week, around $0.40/person/meal. Not too shabby. (And check out that kitchen!) . . . → Read More: When Mama’s Kitchen is a Research Lab

Cooking, An Investment in Family


It was an early spring morning in 2010. I dropped off my then two-year-old daughter at the childcare center before heading into city hall to begin the workday. I turned on Catholic radio and heard an interview with Patti Maguire Armstrong. Up until that moment, I don’t recall knowing much about her, but the interview caught my attention. Patti shared a bit about herself, how she earned a M.A. in public administration (as did I), but set a career aside to be at home full-time with her children. Patti then began writing as a hobby while raising children.

Perhaps it was because the work-family balance never felt quite right for me, but . . . → Read More: Cooking, An Investment in Family

Lessons from the Parish Soup Supper


“Something is wrong when the best possible compliment you can give a fish dish is that it doesn’t taste fishy,” or so said Jim Gaffigan during a recent concert he gave here in Des Moines. The “anti-fishers” in the crowd had a good roar over that line, myself included. Given I’m not a seafood fan, when today’s Soup & Stories guest post hit my in-box a few weeks ago, I became excited. Could it be that our guest contributor has a plausible alternative to the Lenten parish fish fry? Please?! :) I’m really intrigued by how this parish is fostering fellowship and service during Lent, and all around a bowl of … yep, soup! . . . → Read More: Lessons from the Parish Soup Supper

A Taste of Benedictine Hospitality


As the youngest of 11 children, five brothers and five sisters, in a devoutly Catholic farm family, Fr. Guerric Letter learned early on to cook for a crowd and pass rigorous sanitary inspections. On the occasions when his mother and sisters would take a day off, the men still needed to eat. The one instruction he received from him mother and sisters? Don’t leave the kitchen a mess. . . . → Read More: A Taste of Benedictine Hospitality